“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Ps 139:14, NIV2)
We all have heard about the ugly duckling. He compared himself to the other ducklings in the nest and found he was different. Since he took a lot of teasing, he considered himself ugly indeed. What he didn’t realize was that he was beautiful in his own way. He wasn’t a duck at all, he was a swan!
When I first began school, I felt like I was an ugly Grizzly. I couldn’t compare myself to a duck, as I had never quaked before, but I sure could growl!
You see, I was very different from the other students in my class. I was a francophone in a school filled with people who seemed to speak gibberish, for I had never heard Dutch before. I was completely out of my element. Eventually I was able to speak this strange language, but never like those who were native born. They seemed to have it made while I still struggled to put simple sentences together.
My looks were quite different as well. I wore coke bottles over my eyes, due to my very strong prescription glasses that seemed to make numerous circles enlarging and deforming my eyes, transforming my looks into an ugly Grizzly in the eyes of my companions. Many snickered behind my back because of this.
No one ever told me about my Heavenly Father. Nonetheless, I can still remember vividly being a baby in the arms of my mom, thinking: “I am so happy to have such a nice mom. Thank you God for my wonderful mom who cares so well for me.” Even though I have erred many times, I was always aware that I had a Father who cared for me. This, too, put me at a disadvantage, as most of my school companions did not believe in God.
As a result of all this, I was the laughing stock of the school, and at recess I spent my time with the younger children. At least the little ones appreciated me.
I truly felt like a fish out of water, for I truly believed I was too different to be loved. When someone is mocked day after day, that person can’t help but feel totally rejected, deformed, not realizing that I was, indeed, beautifully made.
Each one of us is carefully created to be a work of utter beauty. Yes, when compared to other species, we may look ugly, but when compared to our own, we are truly beautiful. After all, we Christians are a different species, for we belong to the Most High Himself. I was fashioned after my Father’s heart, I am one of His sons, I am glorious!
A butterfly doesn’t have to strive to be a butterfly. A whale doesn’t have to do anything to act like a whale. A grizzly doesn’t have to take a textbook to learn how to act as a grizzly. Each one was born the way they are, delightfully beautiful by their own rights, and so are we.
Let’s not compare ourselves to others. Instead, let’s compare ourselves with the reason we have been created, for God has great plans for each of us. We who believe, were reborn in our Father’s image, and since He is gloriously beautiful, we are as well: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23, NIV) We don’t have to learn how to live as a Christian. It comes naturally as our Father guides us through His Holy Spirit all the way to heaven (See John 16: 13).
It is true that some apply layers of mascara, symbolically speaking, to look like Christians, but no matter what they do, they stand out. Why? They don’t know the One personally: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17, NIV)
We can’t hide our true selves without losing our essence. We were created to be who we are, and we don’t need layers of make-up to look beautiful. Let’s be ourselves. Let’s embrace the identity our Father has given us. Only then will we become truly alive like never before.
“When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive-right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven” (Colossians 2:13, MSG)
You are truly so beautiful!
(To access the entire “Alive” devotional series, please click here.)