It is 3 a.m. on a chilly morning in early December 1933. Six orphans are asleep in the dormitory of the girls’ annex of the New York City Municipal Orphanage.
Annie, who is 11, is busy cleaning the floor, as a punishment from Miss Hannigan, the villainous director of the orphanage. As Molly, who is only 6, wakes up from a dream and calls out for her mother, Annie comforts her by reading a letter left by her own parents.
Thinking about her parents inspires Annie to run away from the orphanage to search for them. Along the way, she encounters a mutt being chased by dogcatchers. As she rescues him and sings “Tomorrow,” she expresses the feeling that both she and the dog, which she names Sandy, have to believe that everything will be fine for them in the future.
Annie spreads her optimism to the residents of a Depression-style shanty town of Jerry-built shacks under a bridge on the East River. As they offer her some stew, she tries to cheer them up by insisting that the future will be brighter for them, too. Then, a policeman breaks up the crowd and returns Annie to the orphanage.
Just as Miss Hannigan is threatening Annie, the private secretary of billionaire Oliver Warbucks arrives, wanting to invite an orphan to spend Christmas at the Warbucks’ mansion. Annie successfully campaigns for the opportunity, despite Miss Hannigan’s objections, and is escorted to a waiting limousine.
In awe of her new surroundings at the mansion, Annie meets Oliver Warbucks, who is immediately drawn to her spunk and personality. Through a series of adventures and circumstances, accompanied by intrigue and mystery, Annie determines that her parents are no longer living.
She is then adopted by the man she loves and respects. Now, Oliver Warbucks becomes Daddy Warbucks to Annie, rescuing her from a life of poverty and misery and offering her all the benefits of wealth and love. And they live happily ever after.
What’s just a story and a dream-come-true for Annie is a reality for all of us who are believers in Jesus Christ. We had a “hard-knock” life when we were living in bondage to our sinful natures. We were experiencing a living death, as our sinful nature, like cruel Miss Hannigan, was making our lives as miserable as possible.
There was little joy, little hope, and little pleasure in our existence. We would try to escape, but always be caught and brought back to the orphanage.
It was only when God sent Jesus Christ as His ambassador to choose us for adoption that things started looking up for us.
Unlike Annie, we didn’t have to lobby for inclusion in God’s family. We were freely chosen, despite the objection of our cruel master and slave-driver.
Christ rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and bondage, and transferred us to the kingdom of light and freedom. Now, we are no longer children of the devil, but we are children of the king King’s kids, as I like to call us.
Are you one of the King’s kids? If so, live in that reality with gratefulness. If not, Christ invites you into His forever family. Simply believe and receive. Your life will be transformed!