One of literature’s greatest heroes is Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
In the book of the same name, Robinson ignored his father’s advice and left home in search of wealth and adventure.
He led a life of recklessness and godlessness until a terrible storm and shipwreck found him stranded on a deserted island.
Among the items salvaged he found a Bible and through it he became a devout Christian.
Despite being alone, his faith grew and he led a peaceful, albeit lonely life.
This peace was broken when he discovered a footprint in the sand and suddenly realised he was not alone.
Because he was aware of the vicious cannibalistic tribes on the other islands, he immediately became fearful.
He no longer slept peacefully and consequently this altered his whole lifestyle.
He imagined himself being captured, boiled and eaten by an unknown, unseen enemy.
The hero said: ‘‘Thus my fear banished all my religious hope. All that former confidence in God, which was founded upon such wonderful experience as I had had of His goodness, now vanished ... ’’
Fear is the greatest of all enemies to our faith. And so often the fear is irrational.
This is evidenced in the story as we find that the footprint belonged to a man who later turned out to be a loving and loyal friend to Robinson.
Fear has been described in an acronym — False Expectations Appearing Real.
I hate the thought of visiting the dentist. Yet whenever I go, I suffer very little discomfort.
What, then, is the source of my fear? Old memories from the times when a visit to the dentist was a painful experience.
F. D. Roosevelt said: ‘‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’’
Whether our fear is fear of the unknown, fear from past experiences or fear of imminent danger, we do have someone who does look after us.
If Robinson Crusoe had kept his faith he wouldn’t have had to go through all the anguish he suffered.
If our fear is based on real danger, God will give us the courage to face it or the good sense to flee from it.
The Bible tells us ‘‘fear not, for I am with you’’.
I believe if we can cling to this, we will experience victory in the face of the inevitable trials we will face this coming year.
- George Deeble, Euroa Christian Fellowship