As a child, there is no hesitation in asking our parents to provide for our needs and wants. God wants us to come to Him in the same way. In Genesis 17:1-8, God calls Himself El Shaddai, which means “God Almighty,” to Abraham.
El is another name that is translated as “God” and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God’s character. Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is “shad” meaning “breast” in Hebrew. This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our Sustainer.
God is a loving God that wants to care and provide for His people. We must understand that our prayers are not a burden to God. The same way a parent celebrates their child coming to them for help, God wants to hear our prayers. He wants to lift our burdens.
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
If we begin to understand that God is our Sustainer, then we will pursue a relationship with Him daily. We will understand that we are not walking through struggles alone. Each day our Heavenly Father goes before us. A verse from Hillsong’s song “At the Cross” says it best:
“You go before me.
You shield my ways.
Your hand upholds me.
And I know you love me.”
For your Reflection:
• How does your view of God compare to the description of El Shaddai?
• What is one way you need God to sustain you right now?
• What is one way you can encourage yourself and others by understanding God is our Sustainer?