The Ugly Ducklings

Illustration by Vilhelm Pedersen, Andersen‘s first illustrator

An old fairy tale came crashing through my study this morning. Perhaps you can remember it, “The Ugly Duckling”  by Hans Christian Andersen.

Now I don’t think about children’s stories very often. I regard my thinking about them to be a bit of an anomaly, and certainly not everyday fare. Maybe it should be a more regular occurance. CS Lewis once wrote,Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” I think he might be right.

“The Ugly Duckling” is a story about an homely little bird raised by a flock of ducks in a barnyard. He doesn’t really fit in and can’t ever seem to master being a duck. He is clumsy and ungainly and rather strange looking.  He is abused or ignored by his companions. He doesn’t fit.

You see, he is a swan. He can’t seem to fit in with the other ducklings. He really doesn’t belong. He tries hard to make it work, but his best efforts at being a duck are doomed to failure. It isn’t who he is. He isn’t a duckling, he is cynget.

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Romans 8:29, ESV

You see, you are different. And you can’t fit in. We have a different destiny than those who surround us. We are “swans” and we can’t change who we really are. (Some try, but to no avail).

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

We are the ugly duckling who will never fit in. The transformation takes time, but to the amazement of his “friends, he becomes what he was meant to be all along.

Brokenbeliever, try to understand– once you accepted Christ as your Savior, you began to be transformed. You are now a “new creation.” You will never fit in.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT

This is a miracle that the world can’t grasp. It is the spiritual makeover that defies any explanation or reasoning. You have become a swan, the most “graceful” of all creatures.

ybic, Bryan



Author: Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alask.a (Actually I have it pretty good.)

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