Do you sometimes feel alone? Lost? Forgotten? These are all emotions I’ve experienced on different levels over the past several months. Social distancing, along with working from home since March, has given new meaning to the word lonely for me.
However, one of the beautiful things about all the extra alone time I’ve had is that I’ve been able to relearn what it means to fully depend on God for companionship and comfort.
I started reading through the book of Psalms and quickly noticed that many of the writings talk about God and His characteristics –– who is He, what He values, how He shows love. I grabbed my blue pen and started circling each trait as I read.
Before long, I had two notebook pages full of qualities and attributes that describe our Almighty God. Several of them in particular stood out to me as traits that we as women really desire and long for in our life. And how great to find them in our Father!
Here are 5 characteristics of God every woman can lean on right now:
GOD IS ALL KNOWING
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.”
2020 has not turned out to be the year any of us thought it would be. A global pandemic, racial injustice and police brutality, protests, deaths of iconic legends, sickness, devastation. The effects of sin on this world are very visible right now and it can be easy to get swept up in news and social media and start to worry about tomorrow.
However, when we start to feel anxious, we should stop ourselves and focus our thoughts on God. We trust in the One who created the world, who knows each of us intimately by name, and who has a plan to bring glory to His name through all of this. He knows what’s around the corner and because we know Him, we can have confidence that these days will pass.
2. GOD IS UNCHANGING
“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.”
One thing I’ve learned through social distancing and a lack of human interaction is that it’s easy for me to jump to conclusions about what other people are doing and what they think of me. If I sense a lull in communication with a friend or family member, or if I hear about friends meeting up for coffee without me, my go-to emotion is betrayal or hurt.
I think it’s human nature to feel like someone is against us, or that it’s us against the world, but that’s simply not true. My friends and family aren’t against me, and even more importantly, God is not against me. He’s not against you either. He is constant and very invested in the lives of His daughters.
Shifting my perspective to focus on God and His presence in my life helps me feel accepted and loved, and allows me to be a better daughter, sister, and friend.
3. GOD IS OUR REDEEMER
“He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; holy and awesome is His name.”
“Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Ruth. After losing her father-in-law and husband, Ruth travels to a foreign land with her mother-in-law and starts working in the field of a local man.
In the days following, Ruth learns that Boaz (the man who owns the field) is a kinsman redeemer. In the Old Testament, the kinsman redeemer was someone who was near-of-kin to the widow, who could step in and marry her to continue on the lineage of the deceased. The system was designed to protect and preserve the inheritance of the dead man.
There ends up being a nearer kinsman redeemer in the story who could also marry Ruth and save her husband’s lineage, but in the end he chooses not to and Boaz steps in.
This story is such a beautiful parallel to how Jesus would come hundreds of years later and be our redeemer––the One who would pay the price for our souls and buy our freedom. The beautiful thing about this redemption is that it was part of God’s nature all along.
From the beginning, God has wanted to ransom His people and this characteristic is present throughout history –– from creation to the flood, to the crossing of the Red Sea, to judges and kings, to Jesus and the fulfillment of the law. God is our redeemer.
4. GOD IS OUR DWELLING PLACE
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
“Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague shall come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.”
I love these first couple verses in Psalm 91. They roll off the tongue so easily and each time I read them I feel all warm inside. There’s nothing better than snuggling under a warm blanket in my home with a candle burning, it’s soft glow flickering on the fireplace mantel.
Sounds cozy right?
Home is supposed to be a safe, peaceful place away from the outside world. I know that unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone, but that makes this characteristic so much more beautiful. God is described as being our shelter, a refuge, and a fortress. We can abide in Him and find peace, warmth, and safety. When we’re longing to feel safe and secure, God steps in and fulfills that desire.
5. GOD’S WORD IS TRUTH
“This God—His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
Truth. Sometimes that word sounds so foreign in society today. Embellished stories, news articles with misquotes, and rumors that spread on social media seem to make up the majority of content that comes across our phone screens each day.
It’s so important to make sure we spend time in God’s Word daily, reading and meditating on scripture. In order for us to recognize the lies that are going on around us, we have to first know and understand the truth that God gives us––and to do that it’s so important that we read God’s Word and meditate on His scripture daily. God is true and honest, and He gave us the Holy Spirit so that we can recognize the truth for ourselves.
“For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”
I hope you find as much comfort as I do in knowing these traits of God. Of course, He is so much more than these five attributes alone, but each time we identify a quality and see how God shows up in our lives in that way, I think our faith grows and our relationship with God deepens.
If you haven’t picked up your Bible yet today, I encourage you to spend some time in the Word––maybe start in Psalms and start making your own list of God’s attributes. The more we know Him, the more we’ll desire Him, and that’s a beautiful thing.