Seeing God In The Ordinary – Part 5
Seeing God In Cell Phones and Malongs
Something I’m rather sure each of us has on our person at almost all times is a cell phone. I’d never really used a cell phone much until we moved to the Philippines, which is known as the texting capital of the world.
In the Philippines, people text rather than call because it is less expensive to do so.
Many mission organizations required (and I’m sure still do) that their missionaries had a cell phone with them at all times in case of emergencies.
It really is the best way to get hold of people.
So what spiritual significance does this cell phone have for me, for us?
A cell phone/smart phone can be a visual reminder to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).
Martin Luther stated that prayer is the lifeblood of the Christian. It is. Continual conversation with God. Prayer is not some ritual, formulated order of words but a daily, moment by moment conversing with God about everything, every moment.
I highly recommend reading, A Praying Life, by Paul E. Miller. Developing a praying life is a life-long journey. Prayer really is interconnected with every part of our lives.
As Paul Miller states in his book, …a praying life isn’t something you accomplish in a year. It is a journey of a lifetime. The same is true of learning how to love your spouse or a good friend. You never stop learning this side of heaven. There is far too much depth in people to be able to capture love easily. Likewise, there is far too much depth in God to capture prayer easily.
It is a daily choice to remember and meditate on the fact that “the Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
A praying life actively chooses to focus on God and His way, to set my mind on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable. If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, I will think about these things (Philippians 4:8). Living thankfully is a mindset. Choosing His way, to give thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:18); even in the hard times, choosing to see the graces. This is the treasure of joy in the darkness (Isaiah 45:3).
God is always listening. There’s no fear of not getting through due to cell phone tower connection issues. He tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He longs for relationship with His people. He rejoices over us with gladness, quiets us with His love (Zephaniah 3:17).
So next time you use your phone, remember to pray.
What’s a malong you ask?
I’ll let Wikepedia explain : The malong is a traditional Filipino rectangular or tube-like wraparound skirt bearing a variety of geometric or okir designs. The malong is traditionally used as a garment by both men and women of the numerous ethnic groups in the mainland Mindanao and parts of the Sulu Archipelago. They are wrapped around at waist or chest-height and secured by tucked ends, with belts of braided material or other pieces of cloth, or are knotted over one shoulder. They were traditionally hand-woven, with the patterns usually distinctive to a particular ethnic group. However, modern malong are usually machine-made or even imported, with patterns that mimic the traditional local designs.
The malong can function as a skirt for both men and women, a turban, Niqab, Hijab, a dress, a blanket, a sunshade, a bedsheet, a “dressing room”, a hammock, a prayer mat, and other purposes. A newborn is wrapped in a malong, and as he grows this piece of cloth becomes a part of his daily life. When he dies, he is once again wrapped in a malong. Among traditional tribal peoples, the malong is used in everyday life. Even in areas where people wear Western-style clothing during the day, the malong is commonly used as sleepwear. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malong)
In short, a malong is a covering in many ways.
Psalm 5 reminds us that God is our covering. He spreads His protection over us, He covers us with His favor as a shield. There are Eight Redemptive Names of God. He is our:
- Jehovah-Jireh – which means “The Lord our provider” – (Gen. 22:14).
- Jehovah-Nissi – “Our banner, a banner of love and protection” – (Ex. 17:15).
- Jehovah-Shalom – “Our perfect peace” – (Judges 6:24).
- Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu – “The Lord is our righteousness” – (Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16).
- Jehovah-Shammah – “The One Who is with us everywhere for He is Omnipresent” – (see Ezekiel 48:35, Isaiah 60:19-20 and Revelation 21:3).
- Jehovah-Sabaoth – “The Lord of Hosts, our Protector.” (Psalm 46:7).
- Jehovah-Raah – “Our Shepherd Who tenderly leads us, loves us and will keep us safe.” (see Psalm 23).
- Jehovah-Rapha – “I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer” – this name especially was a Name God prophetically spoke about Himself, not one that someone gave Him. Exodus 15:26.
Source: Holman Bible Dictionary and the book All the Divine Names And Titles In The Bible by Herbert Lockyer.
Malongs are not used much in the United States, but next time you cover yourself with your bedsheet or put clothing on your body remember that you are always in His care.
Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
2 thoughts on “Of Cell Phones and Malongs”
Lots of golden nuggets in this letter- especially ending with God’s divine names. And that sweet photo of the kids from many years ago 2008?
Hi Betsy, Thank you for your response. Yes, the photo was from 2008 when we’d first gotten the boys!