A few years ago, Pew Research did a survey to find out what Americans mean when they say they believe in God. Although they found that a majority of people (56% to be exact) said they believe in God as described in the Bible, only 28% said they talk to God and that God talks to them, while almost twice as many (47%) said they talk to God but that God does not talk to them.1 The thing about statistics is that they always portray numerically what many of us already know experientially. And these statistics are no exception. So many of us say we believe in God, we affirm his existence, we trust what Scripture tells us about him, and yet, we still find ourselves feeling disconnected from him.
Our lives are complicated and, too often, chaotic. We’re daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, wives. We’re students, teachers, lawyers, artists, politicians, doctors, CEOs. Our day-to-day lives pull us in what feels like a hundred different directions, from late nights at the office, to weekends spent chauffeuring kids, to trying our best to be the world’s greatest aunt/boss/sister/girlfriend. Even so, the world continues to turn, rolling out so many hashtags, campaigns, social causes, cries for justice, we can hardly keep up. And while we do our best to manage our hundred-miles-an-hour lives, so many of us do so looking forward to the rest we hope we’ll find at the other side of one more deadline or promotion, one more bake sale or booster club meeting, one more blind date or pound lost.
This is, after all, what it means to live in the twenty-first century, or so we tell ourselves. And while that may be true, our longing for rest, our longing for stability, for something we can depend on, someone we can trust, is as old as time. So, we do what so many Christians have done before us. We pray. We reach out to God—the God we believe in, the God of the Bible—only to find ourselves on the wrong end of a statistic, on one end of what can feel like a chasm of universal proportions.
It’s one of the ironies of life that it’s in the midst of the hard moments, when we feel most disconnected from God, that we’re led to ask the deep questions of faith. Questions like, “Are you there, God? Are you working in the world? Do you keep your word?” The same questions that have been asked by countless generations before us.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to unpack these questions as we study the covenants we find in Scripture. And as we look at how God has worked in the world and in the lives of his people, we’ll be reminded once again that not only is God there, but more importantly, he is here—with us, always present and always working in our world and in our lives.
1 “When Americans Say They Believe In God, What Do They Mean?,” Pew Research Center, Pew Research,April 23, 2018, https://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/25/when-americans-say-they-believe-in-god-what-do-they-mean/04-25-18_beliefingod-00-00/.