“You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (Christopher Robin to Pooh)
This quote from A. A. Milne’s book, “Winnie the Pooh,” is a keeper. Apparently, others think so, too, as you can find T-shirts, bracelets, posters, necklaces, and the like on the Internet for purchase.
Some children’s books contain wisdom that will carry the readers through their entire lives. Looking back, many of us find Christopher Robin’s words have been undeniably true for us in our own lives.
Most, if not all, of us can remember times when we were brave and stood up for what we believed; or endured a crushing set of circumstances and found we had the strength to overcome them; or faced an intricate problem and discovered we had the smarts to figure it out. In each situation, we may have been surprised that we were able to go beyond the limits of what we thought we could do.
Many of us felt like we were being carried through those experiences or acting somehow outside ourselves when faced with such circumstances.
In these strange times many feel upended, unsure, and it reminds me of the advice Jesus told his new disciples when he sent them out to minister and spread the Good News. Nothing was certain and times were difficult. Jesus told them there would be people who would object to the message, even to the point of possible arrest.
Two of the gospels have Jesus spelling out how they should respond...
But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. - Matthew 10:19-20 NIV
And in the parallel passage from Luke, Jesus says:
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” - Luke 12:11-12 NIV
When difficult and uncertain times arise, it is great to know that “we are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem, and smarter than we think” – to paraphrase Milne. That’s because Jesus promises the Spirit’s inspiration and help to meet the challenges.
With that assurance, we can meet the challenges of our times with a kind of level-headedness. We see the problems, yet we know the hope, and trust that the Spirit is with us in those moments.
And so, brave, strong, smart friends and families of Grace, rest in that knowledge.