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Poor Little Orphan Annie! It’s "a hard-knock life" for her and her friends. All the hard chores, the abuse, and the neglect only add insult to injury to these poor little girls already carrying the weight of abandonment.

But if you’ve seen the musical "Annie," either on stage or screen, you know there is a happy ending for the cute, little, misunderstood, red-haired orphan girl. After being invited to spend the Christmas holiday with Billionaire Oliver Warbucks, and after a few shenanigans from her caregiver at the orphanage, Annie learns that her parents are dead and that Mr. Warbucks would like to adopt her. The brightness in Annie’s eyes and the bounce in her step change dramatically when she learns she will be adopted. Why? Because she not only will leave behind the hard-knock life of the orphanage, she will also live in incredible wealth, and, most importantly, live with someone who has chosen her to be his. She celebrates the promise of Mr. Warbucks singing "I Don’t Need Anything But You."

Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful"

Warbucks: "You can say that again"

Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful"

Both: "But that’s not now, that’s then"

Annie realizes that she’s living on another level.

God wants you to live on another level. He’s well aware that some of our yesterdays are just plain awful. We may not face the tyranny of a Miss Hannigan, but we have our moments where life is a bit hard-knock…

Sickness brings pain and death brings grief.

The ruthless acts of a few terrorists bring us fear.

One thug’s crime is our insecurity.

Bad habits lead to self-doubt.

Bad decisions lead to self-destruction.

The abandonment of a loved one—an irresponsible parent, an unfaithful spouse, a rebellious teenage son or daughter—these things render us alone, empty, and in pain.

But God never intends for us to be dominated by the hard knocks life deals us. He sent his Son to bring us to another level of life. He calls it abundant life. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

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