The Promise of Losing Ground


“Say you are my sister …so my life may be spared for your sake.”

I’ve been stomping my feet in Egypt this week, reading about how Abram handed his wife over to Pharaoh. He was afraid the Egyptians would kill him to have his beautiful Sarai, so he panicked and reached for a half-truth to save his life.

How ironic that Pharaoh was the one to convict Abram. “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? ” Abram was supposed to be the one set apart; chosen to be the father of many nations, yet God used a heathen to show him how lost he really was.

It was a low point for Abram, but he becomes my hero of the faith at the very next turn …

In the echoes of Pharoah’s rebuke, Abram cut his ties with Egypt, took Sarai by the hand, and headed back to “the place where his tent had been at the beginning.

This short phrase is huge. In the face of his sin, Abram went back to the beginning. He trusted God’s plan enough to lose ground and go backwards.

And at the end of that trip, God lifted Abram’s eyes to more than he ever imagined.

What hope for all of God’s people! When we seek Him for a fresh start, the road to repentance becomes a canal of new birth, and through it we are transformed. Abram was.

Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’     John 3:3

God used the roads of Abram’s life to make him a new man and teach him the backwards ways of His kingdom:

  • That the first shall be last 
  • The Promised Land is built upon lost ground
  • And the elderly and barren will give birth to many nations 


Many times, I choose the high life and shiny promises of Egypt over the humble roads of Trust and Patience. I’m in love with feeling accomplished and ahead of the game. And when I get too deep in my own plans, I’m too proud to start over.

Lord, give me grace.

Abram was able to place himself on the road of repentance because he had a unique calling and a landscape of promises.

You and I must boldly go, for we have a ram in a thicket, an empty cross and grave, and the Holy Spirit of a covenant God. 

On Abram’s road… grace abounds.  

Where are you today? Are you surrounded by pyramids of guilt and shame; nauseous from swallowing half-truths? Are you fearful in Egypt; hustling to manage your own fate …only to hurt the ones you love?

I take great comfort in the fact that even heroes of the faith have been there, and God’s back roads are paved with mercy. That comfort is for you too, friend.

Let’s cut our losses and go back to the beginning. Let’s return to the place where we have nothing to offer but a desperate cry for help.

Let’s turn often to where lost ground springs with new life. Where the spilled blood is not our own. 

That’s the place, child of Abraham. Turn.


“The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”     Lamentations 3:22-23
















12 thoughts on “The Promise of Losing Ground

  1. mbethany January 19, 2016 / 6:22 am

    Trusted enough to go backwards…a timely word for me, Karen! Thank you for boldly sharing from God’s Word! #TestimonyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele Morin January 19, 2016 / 6:47 am

    I have been reading in Genesis as well, and am reminded again of the generational dysfunction of that chosen family. How refreshing to be reminded today that God’s mercies are new every morning, every generation, and the sins I most fear for my own “next generation” will come under that mercy just as they have for me.
    Blessings, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown January 19, 2016 / 7:55 am

      Michele- Yes – the chosen ones are illustrations of God’s grace – not perfect faith. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeanne Takenaka January 19, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Beautiful, Karen. I love that God offers second (and third, and fourth . . . ) chances. If we’ll humble ourselves, turn from our sin and go back to the beginning, or the last place where we heard Him, then we can experience His mercy in full measure. What beautiful truths you’re learning from Abraham’s life!!


  4. Holly Barrett January 20, 2016 / 6:24 am

    “Many times, I choose the high life and shiny promises of Egypt over the humble roads of Trust and Patience. ” Me too, friend, me too. Thanks for the encouragement to go back to the beginning. I’ve always heard that when I don’t know what to do next, I need to go back to the last place I heard God speak. I appreciate the reminder and probably need to do this very thing today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown January 20, 2016 / 6:26 am

      Holly- I need to do it many times daily – over and over. What grace. Thanks for stopping by – your words mean a lot.


  5. Tara January 20, 2016 / 11:05 am

    The Old Testament is so rich with stories like this. Like Abram, we are all called out into the world to “be blessed to be a blessing.”


  6. Julie Lefebure January 21, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Karen, this is precious. Thank you for allowing God to use you to minister to others. Cutting our losses and going back to the beginning can be a difficult endeavor, but you’ve laid it out in a way full of grace and mercy. Love the words that flow from your heart, my friend. So glad I stopped over today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. betsydecruz January 21, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    I choose the high life too, friend, but how wonderful that God is always at home waiting for us when we return to him. His mercies are new. Thanks for this insight into Abraham’s journey.


  8. lynndmorrissey March 17, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    This is a wonderful post and it speaks to me in a powerful way at this juncture in my life. I’ve copied it and am pasting it in m y journal. thank you!


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