Humans tend to hate change. We fight the cycles of change by clinging to the past. We pretend if we hold onto something from the past, the present will make sense — and maybe some internal pain or emptiness or loneliness will go away.

But Nature is all about cycles. Last autumn, I wrote about a lesson of Nature which I saw in the dying leaves near my front door. In those dry and golden leaves, I saw the message that dead things must be cleared away before rebirth has a chance to come.

In late October, death and decay were evident all around me. By this mid-June Sunday evening, the new life of Nature’s renewal is just as evident. The leaves you see above are on the same tree limb — in the same place — as the picture I shared with you last October.

I’d like to briefly suggest two things based on the brilliant green of rebirth that I see today.

First, rebirth is coming even if we can’t see evidence of it. When I looked at the dead leaves last October, I had nothing but experience and faith to tell me that rebirth would come again.

Nature doesn’t come with a manual explaining what’s going to happen or why. We have to figure it out on our own through observation, investigation and insight. After many years of watching Nature, the patterns were clear to me, but there was one thing I had to add — faith that what I expected really would happen again.

The second thing I’d like to suggest is that rebirth doesn’t always happen exactly the way we expect — and it doesn’t always occur exactly when we hope or expect.

The big picture of Nature’s cycle holds true, but there are variations in the details. Spring can start and life starts peeking through — only to be slapped down by a harsh return of killing frost.

Some spring seasons are better than others. Some long, cold winters are worse than others. Even though we know the long-term pattern of the cycle, we can’t predict each turn.

There are times when we know something is happening that we can’t yet see. There are other times when we can see things but yet feel uncertain that they’re real. In both of those cases, what we believe — what we know about the outcome — doesn’t match what we can see.

That’s when we have to have faith that Nature — or God or the Universe or whatever word you would like to use — can still be depended upon.

Spring is here in the leaves and trees around me, but it’s still winter in my heart. Why? That’s hard to say. But I know spring is coming for me. Again.

In a New Testament letter which has traditionally been attributed to Paul, we are told this about faith: “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” (This translation of Hebrews 11:1 is from the Good News Translation, which was my favorite in high school.)

When it comes to the cycles of Nature, that’s why we have to have faith. If I believe spring is coming, I’m certain of something that I can’t yet see. That’s the essence of real faith.

So I do celebrate the arrival of the rebirth of spring in my yard. I enjoy the amazing canopy of green that gives me so much joy.

But I continue to wait — with steadfast faith — that spring will come for my heart as well. I don’t like the wait. I don’t like the emptiness of dormancy. I don’t like waiting.

But I have faith that spring is coming again.

We can embrace Nature’s way — and Nature’s timing — or we can spend our lives fighting hopelessly against change which we can’t stop.

Faith is accepting there is Someone bigger than we are — and faith is accepting our place in this amazing reality we experience as Nature’s creation.