This muddy waterhole in central Queensland inspired the most immortal words ever put together by the famous Australian poet, Andrew Banjo Paterson. It’s the lyrics of Australia’s best loved song, Waltzing Matilda and is often regarded as Australia’s unofficial national anthem.
Back in 1895, a 30-year-old Banjo Paterson was staying at Dagworth Sheep Station near Winton, when he heard the story of the recent death of a striking sheep shearer at the nearby Combo Waterhole.
He wrote the tale and put the lyrics to the tune he had heard the station owner’s daughter playing on the autoharp. The new song spread rapidly, and the first public recital was at Winton’s North Gregory Hotel on 6 April.
The enduring popularity of this song that uses many iconic Australian words to describe the rugged beauty and character of the outback, also is a graphic reminder of the consequences of fear.
Fear is a common and powerful emotion that can interfere, restrict and cripple our lives. Are you afraid or worried about something? What’s your greatest fear? Is it embarrassment? Failure? Rejection? Disappointing others? Not fitting in? How can we better cope with fear? What do we do when fear consumes us?
God doesn’t want you to live in fear, even when life is difficult and the future uncertain. Fear can cripple our lives. Here’s God’s promise in Isaiah 43:1-3.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God.
And here’s another promise in Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Whatever we go through, we can be sure that God is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Just remember the next time you feel afraid, God is standing right by your side, and He will walk with you.