Only Jesus can change Ugly Ducklings into Beautiful Swans.
2 Corinthians 5:17.
Phoebe was not really pretty, in fact with her normal scowl she was very plain.
And she knew it! She was rather fat and unfortunately walked with
a waddle. And so everybody at school called her "Ugly Duckling" behind
her back and made faces at her, and teased her unmercifully.
That wasn't very nice was it? (Let the children respond). How
should we treat a person like that? (Let the children respond).
Yes, we should treat everybody with kindness and respect, no matter how they
At home things were even worse. She couldn't do anything right and her
parents were always saying how dumb she was. She would walk about the
house with a face full of thunder and shout, "I'm useless! I'm just a
useless person!" And nearly every night she would climb into her bed
and cry herself asleep.
In the morning it was an effort to drag herself out of bed and rush down to
breakfast. "Don't stuff your face so," shouted her father. "Don't
eat so much, you will blow up like a balloon!" shouted her older brother.
"Look at you, you're bursting out of your uniform again," complained her
mother. Poor Phoebe was almost glad to escape and walk down the road to
Trials at School!
It was a real trial to go through the school gate and face a gang of boys who
loved to wait for her so that they could tease her until she cried.
"Here comes the fat duckling again!" shouted one. "Waddle, waddle,
wiggle, waggle," chanted another. She ran as fast as she could to her
classroom and stood there stamping her feet in anger.
Just then her teacher came in and saw her stamping her feet. "That's
enough of that, girl," spat her teacher, "You need to learn some manners.
Now, did you complete the homework exercise I gave you?" She
stuttered, "No, Miss, I didn't understand what I had to do."
It's the End!
"Lazy!" shouted her teacher, "You are just a lazy stupid girl." Phoebe's
face grew redder and redder and she spluttered angrily, "You are always
picking on me!" He teacher screamed, "What did you say? Go to
the office at once!"
Poor Phoebe. The day got worse and worse. Eventually she reached
her house late in the afternoon after detention, only to be greeted by her
angry mother. "Why are you so late?" she shouted. Phoebe tried
to explain but her mother was too angry to listen. "Straight to your
room!" she bellowed, "And there's no supper for you."
Everyone Hates Me!
That night Phoebe sadly knelt down by her bed. "Dear God," she prayed,
"Do you hate me as well? Everybody says that I'm useless and ugly!
No wonder they call me the "Ugly Duckling", for that's just what I am.
Oh, I wish I could die!"
As she knelt there, she seemed to sense that someone had come into her room.
When she looked up the room seemed brighter as if a lamp had been
switched on. She looked around in wonder, but it was just her bedroom
and there was no one there. Or was there? She felt as if someone
had put their arms around her to comfort her and she began to cry.
"Oh, Jesus," Phoebe whispered, "I do believe You have come into my room.
Please change me into a good person. I'm tired of being an ugly duckling
that everybody hates. I want you to live in my heart and make me Your
Somebody Loves Me!
All of a sudden she felt a strange warmth and a sense of great love around her,
and wondered as peace and joy began to bubble into her innermost parts.
"I feel better," she exclaimed, "Something has happened!"
That night Phoebe went to sleep with a smile on her face. Next morning her
family were knocked out of their socks when a beaming girl breezed into the
kitchen and cheerfully ate her breakfast. They got the shock of their
lives when everybody received a big kiss as a whirlwind swept out of the door
and ran to school!
The New Me!
The gang at the gate started their normal chorus of "Ugly, Ugly Duckling!"
But Phoebe only smiled at them and said, "Call me what you like. I'm a
child of God and He has made me brand new and Jesus greatly loves me!"
They watched in astonishment as she swept down the path to her class.
"She's not even waddling!" exclaimed one boy, "She looks different!"
Yes, she was different. Jesus had changed her and the school was agog with
news when they saw this new Phoebe who smiled, and was polite and kind to
everyone. Even her teachers could not get over the change to her.
"Well, well," said one teacher who was a Christian, "Phoebe has given her heart
to Jesus, and now the Ugly Duckling has changed into a Beautiful Swan!"
And so she had. The old sulky girl and her miserable face were gone
forever. Even her family had to change and start to respect the new
Phoebe. Her marks improved dramatically and she gained self-confidence
The day came when she was the most popular girl in the school. Everyone
loved her. And the waddle? Gone as well! An attractive girl
replaced her - one who beamed the love of Jesus to all who met her and one who
was full of joy and laughter!
Yes, Phoebe was different. Jesus had changed her from an Ugly Duckling
into a Beautiful Swan!
A New You:
And Jesus wants to change you as well. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells
"If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation;
Old things have passed away; and all things have become new!"
This means that if you are struggling at school or at home, Jesus can change
you. If you ask Jesus into your heart, He will make you one of God's
children. And then He will help you change your bad thoughts and
attitude. Jesus will fill you with His love and help you overcome fear
and hate. If you ask Him, He will help you understand your school work
and help you do better in all you have to learn.
Yes, Jesus can change you inside and make you brand new, and then you too will
change from being an Ugly Duckling into becoming a Beautiful Swan!