Does Christianity ever feel stiff, rigid, or painfully literal? The Bible is so packed with beautiful images, metaphors, and awe-inspiring visions… yet most of the time, people turn to it only looking for logic, clarity, and very Western-style instruction. Sometimes, it feels like this drains the beauty right out of the scriptures.  

But there are so many areas of the Bible that aren’t dry or rigid. Many of these passages are figurative. And it can be a little uncomfortable trying to understand what it all means. But today, instead of trying to unearth literal meanings or solve a mystery, let’s just ask how these metaphors can help us celebrate God

We’re turning to five areas of scripture that offer an invitation for us to think about who God is, and what he’s like. We’ll take a look at a metaphor in scripture, and then offer a prayer of reflection that we think helps set our hearts to praise him. 

We hope this helps you to spend some time in awe of God, praising him! Here’s a look at how God shows up in biblical metaphors, in unique and life-giving ways


  • God Shows up as an Eagle

“…like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12).

God, when I think of an Eagle, I think of its strong power and majestic presence. I think about this powerful creature taking on the role of nurturing its young. Thank you for being the God who carries us, who leads us, and cares for us. 

  • And a Wide River

“There the Lord will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them, no mighty ship will sail them” (Isaiah 33:21).

You, O God, are the broad river that protected your city, Jerusalem from attacks. Just as you protected your people then, I know you are still a God who defends and protects your people today. Praise your name! 

  • He’s Called a “Sun and Shield”

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:11-12).

Giver of life, thank you for being the source of light and all things good. Just as the psalmist has concluded, so do I: it’s really good to be with you. You give good things, the best of which is your very presence. Thank you for not withholding good, but pouring it out generously. 

  • God Is a Rock of Refuge

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2).

God, you are firm. You are stable and trustworthy. As our foundation, anything else would falter. But you are a safe place for us to seek refuge—to hide, to recover, to heal. Thank you, Lord, for being so strong and for inviting us to take shelter in your strength.

  • He’s Covered in Light

“The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:2-3).

God, you are beautiful, glorious, and radiant. You’re wrapped in light. Your Son Jesus is the light of the world. I know that I am made to live with you in the light. When darkness threatens to take over, I will take heart knowing that you made this world, you continue to rule it, and in the end, light wins!

Keep Celebrating God!

God is so, so big. He’s marvelous and awesome, and there aren’t enough words to describe him fully. But we’re grateful that he preserved scriptures for us that actually ignite our imaginations to praise him, and think of aspects of him that we might not normally think of. 

How has God shown up in your own life recently? Can you come up with a metaphor of your own that would help describe what it felt like for him to show up?