Holding Onto Providence
It is common for man to find God in times of struggle. Throughout literature we see instances where the protagonist comes upon a challenge in his life, and then finds a way to see God’s plan within his troubles. This happens time and again to Robinson Crusoe in Daniel Defoe’s novel “Robinson Crusoe.”
There is a recurring them of divine understanding in literature. The idea of fate driving our path is a complicated one especially when the idea yo-yo’s back and forth in literature. Crusoe manages to find and loose God with very little effort. He repeatedly comes to the edge of his own resolve and then turns to God when all hope seems lost. Then, of course, he tries to rationalize fate and begins to question his philosophy. Crusoe feels he has been dealt a rough hand being stuck alone on the island, however he repeatedly finds ways his life is sustained on the island. Crusoe struggles to keep faith in mind when he is constantly worrying about his safety on a deserted island. There are several instances when Crusoe grabs onto this feeling of God’s presence. When he finds that corn has begun to grow he believes that “God had miraculously caus’d this grain to grow” (Defoe 58). Crusoe is very taken up with this idea until he rationalizes the occurrence out. Here again Crusoe is dogged by rationale and forgets the divine power of God.
Understanding the divine is a constant review of life, sin, and eternity. Crusoe is convinced that his predicament is due to his choice to ignore his father’s advice and go to sea. He continually blames this sin as the reason for his misfortunes. He constantly laments his awful circumstances, completely ignoring how lucky he is to be alive and have such materials at his disposal. He finally begins to grasp the concept of divine intension when he falls ill. Crusoe is so overjoyed at being saved from his fever that he begins to pray to God for his recovery. Crusoe then finds a new understanding of deliverance. He has been so focused on deliverance from this island that he didn’t appreciate deliverance from sin. Crusoe finds himself amazed at the comfort he feels in realizing he is forgiven (Defoe 71).
Finding your faith is a constant part of life that doesn’t suddenly become stagnant at a certain time. We are aiming way above ourselves to just get a peek at providence. Crusoe does begin to find a pattern in his journey for understanding. He does find strength in God at various hard times. Crusoe begins to “daily read the Word of God,” (Defoe 83). Even when he is trying to focus his mind on God and His plan he still struggles to see his situation as intentional. His viewpoint begins to improve again as he sees his role is to be thankful not only for his situation but also God’s mercy (Defoe 96). A divine relationship is a rather hard thing to grasp regardless of your position.
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1994. Print.
Wyeth, Newell Convers. Robinson Crusoe, Cover. 1920. Christie’s Saleroom, New York. Christie’s. Web. 13 Friday 2013.