(First published in 2018)

If only we could grow without struggle. Today’s guest shares a familiar analogy, but one I think we should all be reminded of periodically. I’ve heard it said, those things that are most worthwhile take the greatest amount of work and perseverance.

This makes me think of 1 Timothy 4:8. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (NLT).

As you read Delia Latham‘s post, prayerfully consider where you’re at spiritually, where God might be taking you, and how He’s growing and molding you in order to prepare you for what lies ahead.


by Delia Latham

I can be a bit of a squirmy worm when it comes to sitting still for instruction. Lectures, long sermons and the like…my mind is willing, but my body refuses to play the quiet game. Yet every time I write a novel, I sit at the feet of the Ultimate Instructor. Most of the time, it’s a joyful experience. I love transcribing the words He speaks into my heart and soul.

But then there are the other times… Times when what the Teacher intends as a special blessing becomes a downright painful experience. Times when the words He whispers into my heart differ from the ones my head screams are “right,” and I wriggle against His will.

In my latest release, Spring Raine (Book 1, Paradise Pines series), butterflies kept fluttering in and out of my scenes. I’m more accustomed to angels showing up in my books. Why was God inserting these new visitors into the story? I hemmed and hawed and questioned the ‘why,’ but eventually I rolled my eyes, zipped my lips and let God finish telling the story. I’m so glad I did, because what I learned was worth not getting my own way.

Butterflies are lovely, graceful, almost magical creatures, aren’t they? While I’d never studied them closely, I knew what I thought was enough about them—which pretty much meant that I was aware, just like any self-respecting 6-year-old, that they started life as caterpillars. But that little fact is a mere scratch on the surface of an entire, fascinating world I knew precious little about.

The Ultimate Teacher on the other hand…He knows everything there is to know about the butterfly. He created the whole, complicated species, from tiny egg to squirmy worm to mysterious chrysalis to graceful, winged beauty. As a spiritual lesson wrapped in a wonderful blessing, the Master Instructor allowed me to see inside a cocoon while I wrote Spring Raine.

He showed me the chrysalis effect.

Caterpillars don’t have fairy godmothers who turn them into butterflies in an instant. The “becoming” is a process, one that takes place in carefully planned, necessary stages. The squirmy worm cannot become all he was born to be unless and until he sheds his old skin, submits to the cocoon and goes through each required stage of metamorphosis.

Worm-to-wonderful. That’s the chrysalis effect. God sent big, beautiful monarch butterflies into a story of seaside romance to teach me about obedience and submission, about myself, and yes…about writing.

As Christians, we must submit to the chrysalis, and let God recreate us—and sometimes, that means completely restructuring who and what we are. Without Him, we’re nothing more than empty shells, with no real purpose. With Him, we become something more…something alive and real. A creature unfettered by the weight of sin, and endowed with the power to touch and bless human hearts and souls. Something beautiful. Something good.

The key? Shed the squirmy worm skin. Be still, and know that He is God. Learn to follow the Ultimate Teacher’s step-by-step (word-by-word?) instructions, and thereby wrap a cocoon of His love around us. When we “become” what we’re meant to be, our efforts will emerge in full beauty. That’s when they’ll wing their way into the hearts of those we interact with and influence, and maybe even change a life or two along the way.

Psalm 25:5 (KJV)—Lead me in Your truth, and teach me: for You are the God of my salvation.

Spring Raine:

An uncharacteristic, last-minute decision to do something “wild and crazy” before entering the stressful world of forensic science sends Raine Presley to Cambria, California. Against a cloud of disapproval from her slightly manipulative, over-protective parents, she signs a seasonal lease at the beautiful Paradise Pines Lodge…and winds up over her head in life and love.

Declan Keller’s just minding his own business—literally—when Raine drops into his world and turns it upside down. He’s far too busy carving beautiful shapes out of chunks of wood to be babysitting a gal from Pasadena. Even so, his father’s promise to an old friend obligates him, despite a looming deadline that could make or break his career in the art world. He’s praying for anything but Raine when she comes along.

Neither Declan nor Raine is prepared for the seemingly divine influence of Paradise Pines—and Miss Angelina Love. A mysterious lady who may or may not own the lodge, Miss Angie possesses an amazing talent for mending ruffled feathers, spouting proverbs, and somehow bending even the most determined of hearts to the power of love.

Available on Amazon, and most other online booksellers.

Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, raised in a place called Weedpatch and currently living in East Texas with her husband, Johnny. She enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She has a “thing” for Dr. Pepper, and loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website. Subscribe to Delia’s bi-monthly newsletter and receive a FREE short story!

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