"Without cold, hard proof, how can we believe in Jesus?" (When Faith Feels Fragile, pg. 45). Great question - and one I want you to really ponder before reading on. Go a step further, not just consider how the evidence you personally cling to in order to believe in the unseen Creator, but make a list. How do you know in your heart there is a God - and He is the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Personally, I'm a big "signs and wonder" kind of girl, probably to a fault. I look for God in everything and everywhere, and while that of itself is a good, the extent to which I sometimes need those validation and consolations is probably not always evidence of a solid unwavering faith. God, however, is so merciful, patient and loving, I can provide many MANY accounts of Heaven breaking into my reality and making God and the Kingdom of Heaven, known to me!
This was never more evident than during the adoption of my daughter, Faith from China. We waited three years to be matched, and then another 6 months from the time we received her adorable little picture until we were actually able to travel to China to bring her home. The most HEARTWRETCHINGLY long wait of my life!! Although my two sons took approximately 7 months and 8 months to be born (no I never made a full-term, I blame my AD/HD - ha ha), at least they were with me, I was watching over them (literally!!), and could feel them move and even sing lullaby's. During the time leading up to our making the final decision to pursue the adoption, all through the application process, throughout the excruciating wait, all the way up to our travel and eventful first weeks of being a family - God was there, and made himself known again and again to me. One of the stories I love to share came the Sunday before we were going to the China Adoption With Love, Inc. (CAWLI) to sign our paperwork. We were in Mass, at the Prayer of the Faithful. I was praying silently to God to forgive my being such a pain with my constant need of reassurance, but if He could please just send me one more sign before we entered into a point of no return in the process, I'd be forever grateful. In the moment I moved my attention back to the Deacon reciting the prayer petitions I heard, "And may all the orphans of the world find good homes." Yeah, I know...crazy amazing!
There were numerous incidents - a books worth really (yes, I'm working on it) - just like that one. God lavished me with validation and consolation, and I was so grateful. However, there came a day when I needed to just believe, to just trust that God had my back, and to continue this huge leap of faith without the 'signs and wonders' safety net. In case I wasn't 100% clear that was truly what God was calling on me to do at that point in our adoption journey, one of my prayerful jaunts into the scriptures for reassurance, I was lead directly to Matthew 16:4, "Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." While I do not believe God was calling me wicked - though I am from New England and around here that means something completely opposite that Jesus was talking about -- I do believe He was gently (or not so much maybe) reminding me that there comes a time to just BELIEVE. God and I had this incredibly history together - one where the evidence was overwhelming in favor of their being a God - and furthermore He was truly moving in my life. As Jesus said to St. Thomas, "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed"
To conclude today I will paraphrase the evidence Fr. Hurd presents for believing in Jesus (it is on page 45 for those of you who have had the opportunity to either purchase or download the kindle version of the book):