The Unravelling

Friday, May 19, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take The Name Of Jesus With You"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 18:2-3 – The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (NIV)

My kitten, Earl, has certainly livened up my little household of dogs. He gets into things where the canines would never go, and thus, I am kept on my toes learning to think like a cat.

His latest escapade took place in the bathroom as I happened to be walking by and movement caught my eye. Earl was standing on his hind legs, unravelling the roll of toilet paper as fast as it would go. White sheets lay in an ever-increasing pile all over the floor. "Earl, whatever are you doing?" I asked him. He blithely glanced at me before sauntering away, leaving the mess for me to clean up. I have always heard that dogs have masters, but cats have servants. I understand this saying more and more now that Earl lives with us.

Unravelled toilet paper is a bit of a nuisance, but when our life becomes unravelled in one way or another, it can be a lot more than a nuisance. It can be devastating. It can throw us into despair. It can cause us to wonder how we will ever get our lives back on course again and cope with everything that it takes to clean up what has befallen us.

Amidst such times of unravelling, however, we have One Who has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5b NIV) "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isaiah 43:2 NIV) Why? Because for the believer in Christ, the Lord our God, the Holy One of Israel, our Saviour, is with us and is more than able to strengthen, encourage, and grant wisdom and hope to overcome any unravelling situation that enters into our lives. In fact, He is even able to take such situations and work them for good in our lives as we continue to look to this One Who is worthy of praise.

The choice is ours, however. When life begins to unravel, we must decide. Do we choose negativity and despair concerning our situation, a choice that pulls us down and robs us of hope and life? Or do we choose positively by continuing to place our hope in "him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"? (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

I don't know about you, but I've made up my mind concerning my decision when life unravels around me.

Prayer: Father God, grant us the insight and power to choose to place our hope and trust in You when life unravels around us. For You, Lord, are a true and sure hope, One in Whom we can find refuge and strength, wisdom and deliverance amidst any and all situations, for which we are truly thankful. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Amen and Amen.

    Thank you, Lynne!

    Preach it sister! Amen.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today. God be the glory! Blessings.

    Hi Lynne. If you turn the toilet paper around the cat cannot unroll it. I learned that from my previous cats. I am now a dog person. They do not play with toilet paper rolls.

    You are always such an encouragement to us all even as you face many challenges. May God continue to bless you with wisdom and strength and thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    Hi Lynne, did you turn the roll around the other way? Yes, I know what being unraveled is like. Just listening to Brian Doersken’s song, Faithful Father. He is our heavenly Father. It’s a great song. Blessings.

    I see the new address. Hope you’re settling in amid toilet paper and all. Are the fires anywhere near you?
    You use such great examples that scripture makes perfect sense. Thank you.

    Morning, Lynne,
    Your devotional made me smile as I read it and then took to heart your additional thoughts. You amaze me with your writing ability.
    Trust you are settling in and learning to pronounce “Tawatinaw.”

    Dear Lynne,
    What a tremendous devotional from your new address! That one gets printed for frequent reference in this house.
    The smoke must be making life terribly difficult for you all, but may the LORD deliver you from the fire.

    Hi Lynne….How nice to hear from you so soon after your move to Alberta, which in itself must have been an “unravelling” experience. Wishing you well in your new home and looking forward to more devotions from Alberta. Thank you!

    What a relief to read your words today since I believe we all were wondering how you were faring with all the fires raging in Alberta. Earl isn’t the one keeping you on your toes. Whatever has brought you to Tawatinaw (what a lovely sounding name which I take it is indigenous) may it be for the best for you and your family.

    A great word for me today. Thank you for sharing through your gift of writing. I am a bit unraveled, being hit it seems on every front. My broken heart seems to overtake all areas of my life if I don’t fight against it. When I sink into the depths of his word I am finally at rest. I don’t have to fight anymore as I lay back into his arms.

    Greetings Lynne and many thanks for another of your very encouraging and positive devotionals. I had quite a chuckle reading about Earl’s interaction with the toilet paper roll. Yes, we in daily life can let things get very unravelled but our loving Lord can really straighten things out for us and give us a solid solution when we turn to Him and follow His word. Blessings for these special writings you do and enjoy a great day.

    Hi Lynne
    A good devotional today about unraveling. Our life at times seems to be unraveling for the past few weeks, but quite often I think of the Bible verse I read when are first child did not live, Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in (times) of trouble.
    Blessings on your time in Alberta.

    Thank you for your wonderful devotion. I always look forward to them.
    I hope you have settled in your new home and the wildfires are not near you. I hear the smoke is really bad.
    I pray that they will get them under control soon without too much more devastation.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Life is filled with new learning and now you have a different animal in your life to add to your knowledge and understanding.
    I love how you are able to take an ordinary occurrence and make it a learning lesson for all of us. When our life is unravelling we now have a picture of Earl standing on his toes having great fun unravelling the toilet paper. We can now be reminded that as you are Earl’s servant to tidy up the mess, God is always there to help us through our messes. We just need to focus on the hope we have been given through Jesus and, maybe not immediately but soon, with the help of the Holy Spirit we will gain hope and the situation will be manageable. Jesus is our servant, and we are his servant and life looks so much better when we choose HOPE.
    I enjoyed the lyrics of this song which accompanies your devotional – “Take the Name of Jesus With You”. I have not heard it before. Another learning for me. Blessings as you keep your eyes on Earl.

    Thank you, Lynne. My daughter has cats, so I get your illustration. May we all make the better choices.

    Amen. Thank you, Lynne.
    I always love your devotionals.
    Hope you are safe from the wildfires.
    Blessings dear friend.

    Lynne, thank you for using your insights to encourage me again! PTL!! God has used you in awesome ways to pull us out and set our feet back on the rock!! In February my husband was relieved of all the indignity he suffered the last few years and God took him home! It has been a tough journey, but God is good and feeling a bit unravelled today, you have encouraged me, and I feel His peace, hope, love, and joy!! PTL!!!

    Hi Lynne,
    I had a good laugh at your experience with Earl.
    I’m glad to hear from you as I, as I’m sure many others, have been wondering how you were fairing in Alberta, or even if the move went smoothly or at all.
    You bless us with laughter with your stories, especially your animal stories.
    Thank you so much. I enjoy your devotionals.

    Hi Lynne,
    I see that you are no longer in Atlin, BC
    I love to hear/read about your pets inspiring you! Very happy to hear about all the things Earl is up to!
    Thank you!

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