I remember tears flowing freely one day as I worshipped while singing, “I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name.” In fact, the title of the hymn alone should be welcomed as instructive—My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.

But, is my hope built on him, really? As I worshipped that day, I recall the realization that I could only trust and wholly lean on Jesus’ name. Indeed, Kim was the sweetest frame I had ever seen or known, but she was not my savior. She could not carry such a burden, whether present or absent.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 4:5

I made two crucial decisions in my life. Many of us make these two decisions. I chose to follow Christ, and I chose to marry. Both are important choices, but one is so much more important than the other. Again, Kim is not my savior; she was never intended to fill that role.

However, here’s the danger: It is easy for any of us to confuse these two important relationships, not so much in our minds but in our hearts and in practice. A spouse is seen—very present—while our Savior is unseen. Yet, Jesus is the sweeter frame. He has saved us for himself. In the Citizens song, In Tenderness, they sing, “I never heard a sweeter voice…”

Perspective shaped by truth is so very important. As a man, my greatest need is a reconciled relationship with my Creator. Jesus’ voice, therefore, becomes so much sweeter than the voice of a temporal life companion, no matter how sweet.

The worship group, Rend Collective, drives this message home even further in these lyrics from their song, Yahweh:

“You are the great I Am, seated upon the throne. Nothing can take Your place in my heart…”

Oh, but how easy it is to replace Christ in our hearts—a wife, a loved one, a child, a job, a life passion, a hobby, a home. These temporal gifts change; He is ageless and unchanging. Trustworthy.

Indeed—I trust you, I trust you, I trust you. What a simple, yet powerful, declaration. While simple, we often make it very complicated. Trusting our unseen God is often more difficult than trusting our seen loved ones—or even our circumstances.

As time continues to plod along through this unwanted journey, I am reminded often of the reasons I can trust him. He is faithful, and he is true. One morning, I was singing the hymn, Like a River Glorious, and was reminded of the following:

“Every joy or trial falleth from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love; We may trust Him fully, all for us to do; They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true. Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest. Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.”

I chose to trust him, and they who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true. This is my testimony of trust, as well.

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Oh, D. Ray! This is such a rich and sweet reminder to trust our good, good father and wholly lean on Him. Thank you for allowing us to learn from your journey.

  2. Anonymous

    Holy trust on Jesus’ name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. Thanks for these words as you are sharing your story.

    • Anonymous

      DRay, Thank you for sharing your “loss journey” with all of us. Your message is very encouraging and for me personally, drives and points me to Christ in all things. Praying for you. Sally Knox

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Sally.

  3. Anonymous

    In tragedy, your choice to trust Him, is an amazing testimony. You remind me how easy it is to give priority position to someone or something other than God. Thank you for sharing. My life is enriched and encouraged by your faithfulness.

  4. Anonymous

    These communicate so much of what God is and how you chose to honor Him and thereby honor Kim as you face tremendous loss. – SP

  5. Anonymous

    Great post, DRay! After Jeannie’s passing, God gave me such strength as I prayed that my conscious sense of Jesus’ presence would become greater than my conscious sense of Jeannie’s absence.

    • D. Ray

      And I quote you in a future post on just that prayer. Thanks, brother.

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you for your proclamation of faith in the battle of life, even as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, finding faith in the most unwanted journey. May the God of all comfort and mercy renew your soul daily. And you, my brother, are also a true blessing of comfort and encouragement for others in their own faith journeys.

  7. Anonymous

    I am really enjoying your writing, D. Ray. Thank you so much for putting your experience of loss and grief and so much more out for others to gain wisdom and insight from. I am finding much comfort in your vulnerability of sharing the journey from a year ago when you suddenly lost Kim and as you continue on without her physical presence. So much of what you are writing reflects well into the world at large, especially right now with the Corona virus and covid-19, the narrowing circles, the mandates and recommendations. Our response to the restrictions and changes are often clear indicators to what we have put our trust in, or who or what we think is our savior. And sometimes that includes other people or schedules or routines we have come to rely on too heavily.

    • D. Ray

      I have learned that loss is loss, and my lessons apply to so many other forms of loss and crisis. No one should ever dismiss their loss. Right now everyone is experiencing the loss of normalcy, routine, connections, work, income, etc.

  8. Anonymous

    You are prayed for. Jesus Is with you and He Is Holding your hand.

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