Laura Rath will be a regular contributor on this blog throughout the journey we are taking through “The Story.” Today, Laura will help us understand Upper Story and Lower Story, which are very important concepts that will be explored throughout the 31 weeks of this series. We look forward to interacting with you as we find our story together.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

This is one of my favorite verses in Scripture, but sometimes I want to ask, “God, my life doesn’t seem to be going all that well right now. Is this what you have planned for me?

Everyday life often doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why things happen, why people act the way they do, or why something doesn’t work out when I did my very best. I don’t know why some days are so difficult.

But here’s the thing…my life isn’t the complete story. It’s only a piece of God’s story.

Author and pastor Randy Frazee says to understand the Bible, we need to view it with a dual lens, one that allows us to see the Upper Story and the Lower Story. The Upper Story is God’s grand story of something larger—His eternal plans.

The Lower Story is our individual stories of everyday life—the struggles, the joys, the getting through the day-to-day. God’s Upper Story encompasses our Lower Stories.

Since the very beginning, God has wanted to be with us. That’s why He created Adam, and then Eve. He wanted to be with them every day, to share His love and joy with them, and to live with them in a perfect place—the Garden of Eden.

However, God does not force Himself on us. He wants a personal relationship with each of us, not out of obligation, but because we want to be with Him.

Enter free will.

I used to wonder why God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden to begin with. Maybe you have too. In order to want to be in a relationship with God, we have to have the freedom to choose. God gave us that freedom in the form of a tree. And when Adam and Eve ate from it, we lost the perfect relationship God created us to have with Him. Forever.

From that time on, God’s plan has been to have that relationship with us again. And He has given us that hope through His Son, Jesus Christ. The only way we could ever be with Him again was for Jesus to pay the price of our sins. Through His death and resurrection, He conquered the hold sin has over us. No longer are we slaves to our sinful nature, but through Him we have the ability to align our lives with God’s Will. And when we do, we can know without a doubt that no matter what happens in our Lower Stories, God will work it out for the good of those who love Him.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

Throughout the Bible, God used the Lower Stories of sometimes the most unlikely people as part of His master plan. And He continues to do this today as He uses our Lower Stories, for good in His Upper Story.

In Christ,


Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith

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