The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isa. 9:2)

WHEN LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE sings her hopeful, optimistic song in the famous musical Annie, few can help being moved by her struggles and sadness, and her confidence that “the sun will come out tomorrow.” Our heroine has seen loneliness as an orphan, and she’s experienced meanness, if not abuse, by her caretaker. Annie is the victim of lies, kidnapping, disappointment, and crime during the story, but she’s convinced a better day awaits. And, if she had a buck, she’d bet her “bottom dollar” on it.

Isaiah the prophet shared with the nations of Israel and Judah that judgment was coming. The idolatry, immorality, and pride of the people would be punished. Isaiah warned them there would be pain and sorrow; however, the prophet also promised salvation in the form of a Messiah. When He came, Isaiah assured the people, there would be a light in the darkness.

The light of our Savior brought the opportunity for repentance, forgiveness, and salvation amid the difficulties felt by Isaiah’s audience. He still does today. The message is the same for the people of the Bible, a red-haired orphan from the 1930s, or those of us in the twenty-first century: Jesus is our light in the darkness, a hope where there is despair. And you can bet there’s no gamble in that!

Rely fully on Jesus in the dark, hopeless times in life; there you will find light.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.