God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah – Psalm 46:1-3
In the musical Annie, the song, “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” takes the audience into the daily struggles of the orphans who live in the terrible orphanage run by Miss Hannigan. There is hard work with little pay off. Tears and heartache are part of the daily emotional roller coaster. The girls are sad, lonely and often hopeless. As the song builds, the chorus of girls deliver a powerful line, “No one cares for you a smidge when you’re in an orphanage! It’s the hard knock life.”
Miss Hannigan’s orphanage is symbolic of the dreadful, solitary condition that so many of us find ourselves in during the hard-knock times of life. The feeling that we are alone and there is no one around to care or help can be paralyzing. The orphans and, even Miss Hannigan, wrestle with the debilitating feeling of loneliness. The joy of Annie is that hope is realized, and connection is made with family- a new family.
This is the promise we have as the people of God. We are not locked behind the doors of a sad and isolated orphanage. We are adopted into a family of faith. We are the children of God. Because God has promised, repeatedly, that He is “A very present help,” we can be free of the tears and heartache that come with isolation. As we begin this week, let us remember that we do not begin this week alone. God is with us! We have a family of faith. Because we are not alone, our week begins with hope!
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship