Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Story – My Lower Story in God’s Upper Story

Last fall, my church congregation began reading through The Story, a chronological abridged version of the Bible. During the series, I had the privilege of guest posting on Gloria Dei’s blog for six weeks, writing about a few of the Old Testament heroes.

I often need to reread my own words, and I’ve been reminded of the lessons I can learn from these men and women in the Old Testament. For the next few weeks, you’ll find these posts here, in their entirety, as first posted on the Gloria Dei blog. My prayer is that they will bless another reader, as well.


My Lower Story in God’s Upper Story
(First posted at Gloria Dei on September 6, 2012)

“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

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful thoughts. Thank you so much for the reminder that our lives are a small portion of the larger story that He is weaving. I was your neighbor at Soli Deo Gloria :)
    Blessings,
    Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our lives have meaning and purpose, even though sometimes it's hard to see how our lower stories can make a difference. Thank you for sharing Laura!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's Important To Know That Sending Jesus To Rescue Us Was God's plan Before The Beginning Of Time. God Did Not Decide That After We Sinned. SeeTitus 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:8-10, 1 Peter 1:17-21, & Acts 2:23.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really like the image of an upper and lower story. Somehow puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  5. 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.

    I thin I needed to come here just for those words alone... thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I "love" the Story and thank you so much for sharing your faith and reminding us that God is still in control of our life and will use all the circumstances to bring us and keep us with Him!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!