2nd August 2017

There Once Was an Ugly Duckling

‘”However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthian 2:9 (NIV)

There are some songs or tunes that transport you immediately back in time. For me it is Danny Kaye singing ‘There Once Was an Ugly Duckling’ in a children’s radio show on a Saturday morning in the 1950s. It evokes the warmth, love and security of a low paid working class family who would sing along to the tunes whilst doing the chores. The story on which the song was based was first published in 1843 by Hans Christian Anderson the Danish poet and author, and tells of a baby swan (signet) who was put with a brood of ducklings who mock it for its colouring. As it grew though, it turned into a beautiful swan.

While the memory that the song recalls for me is of cosy family life on a Saturday morning, I realise there is analogy using the comparison of who I was before God called me to be His own. Isaiah 64:6 describes what I was like before: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Not a pretty sight spiritually. There I was thinking I was somebody special when all the time I was far uglier than a transplanted cygnet!

Thanks to God’s mercy and grace, he called me to a more excellent way spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:31—a way of peace and beauty. This was the beginning of the hatch (transformation) from an ugly worldly human being full of sin, to a child of God. Ephesians 1:5 says that “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Not only that, but I was promised a future beyond my imagination as the heading scripture says. 

Unlike the amazed cygnet who looked on his reflection and saw the magnificent grace of a swan, I can only look through a glass darkly right now (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV). But I do believe Jesus when He said in 2 Timothy 4:8 ‘Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

For the cygnet that morning looking at his reflection in the lake it was a complete surprise as he saw the grace of a swan. Thanks to the amazing grace of God I see a glorious future for me with Him in His kingdom!

Wonderful Father, full of grace, thank you for washing me clean of my sins by the precious blood of your Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ—I yearn for my future with you.

Study by Irene Wilson


About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

Summer Educational Programme
S.E.P. is a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. It is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths. For more information about S.E.P. visit www.sepuk.org

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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