I’m a logical person. Let’s be real, I’m an engineer, so logic is pretty much my life. I like numbers and data. I like facts, and trains of thought that are easy to follow and are backed up by plenty of evidence. I’ve never been much of a risk taker, preferring to instead do research and find evidence to guide my decisions. All of these things seem to blatantly clash with faith. Faith involves complete trust in something that cannot be proven. Being a numbers and evidence-based thinker, this can be difficult for my brain to accept, and I’m sure some of you experience these same conflicts. So how do I get around this natural need for evidence?
I’ve learned that, while different from data and traditional engineering proof, the evidence for my faith still exists. I find evidence of God’s presence everywhere in the world around me – in the beauty of nature, in the friendship of others, in biblical readings and lessons; and this evidence is available for each of us. Take the Easter season, for example. God reinforces the idea of the resurrection and new life through the transformation of winter into spring. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, beautiful flowers pop up out of the cold, seemingly barren winter ground. Baby animals are born, birds sing happy tunes, fresh green leaves sprout from trees, and the sun gradually warms the earth. In all of these ways, we are reminded of the new life that God always brings to us. No matter how cold temperatures get in the winter, how many blizzards cover the earth in snow, or how many times I think that my face is going to fall off from the harsh winter wind, it doesn’t last. The snow always melts, the sun always comes out, and spring always follows winter. It can be hard, during those cold winter months, to remember the warmth and joy of spring. We can easily get caught up in the bleak, gray skies and freezing temperatures, and we might forget the promise of spring. And yet, it always comes. We can endure the harshness of winter because we can always have hope and the promise of spring.
Our lives are very similar to the seasonal transition from winter to spring. We experience hardships, and seasons of doubt and bleakness. We may view the world as a cold place, filled with pain and suffering. But God always sees us through these seasons of destitution and uncertainty. The bad times pass, and we transition into better, happier times. Like spring, the sun comes out, flowers begin to bloom, opportunities arise, and we find love and happiness in the world again. Just as we know that spring will always follow winter, our lives should be filled with hope and faith that God will be with us through the difficult times and He will bring us to seasons of life and happiness.
It may seem that God is not present during these seasons of hardship and doubt. However, this is most definitely not the case. God is there, just as the bulbs for those beautiful spring flowers are in the cold, winter ground, waiting to awaken and bloom. Furthermore, enduring the cold, barren winter season makes us appreciate the life-giving spring season so much more, just as enduring hardships makes us appreciate the times of joy and blessing in our lives. God leads us through challenging experiences and struggles that help us grow as sons and daughters of Christ, and we can always find blessings in these times if we look for them. For example, I love seeing trees slowly start to bloom and watching flowers as they grow taller and their colorful petals become visible day by day. Finding these little signs of spring really brightens my day, and I would not notice these small joys if I hadn’t been accustomed to seeing barren trees and gray landscape for the past couple of months. The winter season helps me to more fully appreciate spring, just as trials make us appreciate our blessings even more.
At the end of the day, you need the element of trust. You have to be confident that winter will end and spring will come. You have to endure hardships, believing that good will come of them and that hard times will not last. This requires a leap of faith. But look at all of your evidence. Look for all of the little signs of God’s presence and love for you. Thomas doubted, and we will have days of doubt, too. We may not see God directly in our lives, but there are other ways to view His presence and to remember His love. Watch the flowers as they spring from the winter ground, feel the sun warming your face, listen to a friend’s encouraging words, take time out of your day to meditate and find peace. All of these (and many more) are signs of God’s presence. All of these are ways to support that leap of faith you take in believing in God.
As we continue with the Easter season, I encourage you to take time to notice the many signs of spring and to think about how Jesus’ resurrection takes over our hearts, just as the sun and flowers take over the earth during spring. Seek out evidence of God’s resurrection, and share this joy and life with others. The first reading has a line that really struck me – “With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.” We, knowing God’s great power in the resurrection and His love and mercy, have a responsibility to bear witness to this and spread it to others. Let yourself be filled with joy at the coming of Christ and the coming of spring, and be a witness to these miracles so that others may find evidence of God’s love as well.