I reluctantly hit the “stop” button on my alarm. I had set five alarms the night before like every other night… with no intention of actually waking up to the first four.
I drug myself out of the bed… bleary eyed with “eye boogies…” mindlessly grabbing the clothes that I laid out… barely aware as I thrust one leg after the other into my dress pants.
I went through the routine… brush teeth, brush hair, find my glasses, make coffee, pack lunch, open blinds to let the sun peak in, stumble to the door to remote start my car, lead the puppy back into the bedroom with my husband who is out cold from working night shift, tell him goodbye while he mumbles incoherent sentences to someone in his dreams.
The whole process took about 20 minutes or less. I made the short commute to work, and found myself walking down the familiar halls of my workplace. I unlocked my office door and sat my stuff down.
It was Thursday… the morning when Bible study happens in the woodshop at my work.
But it was also the day after a myriad of deadlines, some of which I had not been able to turn in on time due to unforeseen circumstances. So, this particular day, I contemplated getting straight to work instead of attending the Bible study.
But it’s something that I look forward to attending. I get to interact with students and see friends, those who I work with and those who sacrifice their morning to attend before going on about their days. And so, I put my stuff on my desk, pocketed my keys, and shut the door behind me with my coffee in hand. As I walked down the hall, I prayed to God, “Lord, please show up. I need to hear from You.”
I was in one of those periods of life where things seemed to be happening all at once, those times that make you weary, those times when you need some guidance and direction and peace.
So, I opened the door to the woodshop, and I saw familiar faces smiling back at me. I heard “Hey, Mrs. Ehman!” from all over the room, and it made my heart glad. Immediately, I was thankful that I had come.
I chose not to eat the donuts and other tasty items they had available. Instead, I sipped my coffee as they introduced the guest speaker.
She was someone I had never heard of before, but she had an interesting story. She had been a very famous, award-winning actress in the Philippines but had left it all to move to Michigan to be with her husband.
She was a small, petite woman with kind eyes and a warm smile. She walked up to the wooden podium, and she smiled as she looked around at every person in attendance, staff and student. She greeted everyone with such genuineness.
She began speaking about two Greek words in the Bible: logos and rhema.
She described logos as the written Word of God, and she described rhema as the inspired Word of God, something from the Bible that speaks to us individually.
She said that, as we read the Bible, we are experiencing logos.
But when God’s Word speaks to us and becomes a revelation to us and the Words on the page become alive to us, that is rhema!
Rhema is what you experienced when you heard the Word of God and accepted God’s gift of salvation. The Word of God became alive to you, and you believed.
Rhema is what motivates us to change and is the only thing that will change our behaviors. Rhema is when a verse jumps out of the page and becomes personal.
I had asked God to speak on the way to the woodshop, but that wasn’t the first time in the past couple of days that I had asked God to speak to me. Just a day earlier, I had posted this on my Instagram.
Essentially, I had asked myself where the girl went who was on fire for God, who read His Word every chance she got, who had a Bible with her always. Without knowing it, I was asking why I had not experienced rhema in so long.
Personally, I think that life happens. Our relationship with God sometimes resembles the ebb and flow of the waves on the seashore… or at times, like a roller coaster… even if we don’t want it to resemble either of these things.
Personally, I had not experienced rhema because I had become complacent with logos.
I had been squeezing a few minutes of Bible reading in throughout my days. I had been praying only at night when I was half asleep and dozing off in the middle of the prayer. I had been “checking off the Bible reading and prayer boxes” of Christianity, and as a result, my whole being had been suffering. And I was left confused as to why aspects of my life seemed to be failing.
Standing in that woodshop, leaned up next to a workbench, with sawdust raining down on me from the rafters above, I felt wisdom rain down as well.
I thought to myself,
If I want to begin eating healthy and exercising, then verses about my body being a temple of the Lord must become rhema to me.
If I want to get out of the bed at 5 am to spend time with God, then verses about being with God in a quiet place and spending time with Him must become rhema to me.
If I want to live a radically on fire, passionate life for Jesus, then verses about being transformed by God to live this kind of life must become rhema to me.
I love how God answers. I love how God is patient. I love how He waits for me to “get it.” I love how I feel like He delights when things “click.”
I love when He rains down wisdom in my life, even if it comes in the form of sawdust.
May we strive for rhema, today and every day.