The Sweetest Frame

The Sweetest Frame

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But only trust in Jesus name

It was a typical Sunday in the church choir stand many years ago. We were practising the song “Cornerstone” when my friend Jeanette burst out, “what the heck is trusting in the sweetest frame?? This song doesn’t make sense!!”

Many years have passed since and I still didn’t have an answer to what this lyric really meant. Until I got caught in a challenging situation recently and God explained it to my heart.

One of the most difficult parts in this missionary journey is the separation anxiety I feel towards our matrimonial home. It has been a very sweet gift; a place of stability and comfort for me. A place where do my favourite things – art, cooking, and resting. A refuge. I treasure it a lot, and I knew there will be a time that I have to let it go.

Our initial plan was to move out on 1 June, which is the same day as our flight. It’s quite a duh plan I must say. Meanwhile, we have been praying for a good tenant. One that will be able to take care of our home and also have the ability to meet our required rental rate. A few potential tenants had expressed their interest and quickly, a very suitable one came along.

The checklist boxes were all ticked beyond our expectation. Everything seemed perfect until…

We found out that they want to move in on 15 May.

Inside, I felt quite terrified. I totally wasn’t mentally prepared to move out so early. I had always been comforting myself with the seemingly generous amount of time I have left to slowly accept reality. I didn’t want to say goodbye so fast. And where are we going to stay for half a month??? The fact is, I hate moving!!! Things for the next few months already look quite unstable, and now, another source of instability to be added to the list????

Such an offer requires a quick decision and my anxiety was rising. So I went on a walk to chat with God about it. I felt like He wanted us to take this offer. I was reluctant and told him about my worries. God didn’t respond to my worries per se, but he continued to gently encourage me to say yes and trust him as he provides for us (albeit in ways we don’t expect).

A series of Fatherly confirmations later, I said yes…

The next day in church, Cornerstone was part of the worship set. Prior to this, I hadn’t heard this song for a while. The baffling lyrics jumped out at me as we were singing it.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But only trust in Jesus name

To build anything stable, we usually have to build it upon a frame. A frame guides us and is something that we “fall back on”. My home, structurally made up of many frames, had literally been the sweetest frame to me. I had built my sense of stability on it and God was revealing to me that my trust had been misplaced. My trust has to be in Christ alone, and not the sweetest gifts that God may give to me to enjoy.

My job is to walk in obedience. God’s job is to provide. I’m sure that God has some pleasant surprises for us as we respond to this “unpleasant surprise” in faith. Our season of moving and travelling a lot is going to begin very soon… will appreciate all your prayer and encouragement!

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