A Longing Plea

An interesting trait among Red Angus cattle is that they are some of the noisiest around. My herd bull “Mavric”, a registered Red Angus with amazing EPDs (Expected Progeny Differences), is a prime example. As the only bull on the Cross-Dubya, “Mavric” is normally a very happy fella. But when all his ladies are pregnant or no longer experiencing estrus, he tends to become both nosey and noisy.

As the herd bull, “Mavric” does a fine job of keeping his harem together; and keeps close watch on everyone in his herd. Late last fall, my neighbor on the western edge of my property turned his herd loose directly behind mine. With a shared fence and all my cows pregnant, the new female neighbors became a real source of distraction for “Mavric”. I’d often hear him long before I’d spot him either walking back and forth along the fence line or standing atop the hill in hopes the ladies would notice him. His loud bugling can be heard for at least a mile I think.

Of course, not only did it draw a new bunch of cows to the fence, it also brought my neighbor’s Hereford bull. After repairing the fence to separate the clashing behemoths a few times, heavier electric fence wire seems to have done the trick and a truce was achieved. Still, that didn’t keep “Mavric” from calling out in hopes of attracting a new female companion.

I couldn’t help but laugh at his pleading cry, as though I could almost hear him crying out “Oh girls. I’m right here ladies. See how handsome I am. Look, no horns!” When I would go visit him, he would look at me and offer a low moan. It was like he was saying, “But Papa, why won’t they come visit me?” After a treat and some patting, I’d encourage him to go back and be with his herd.

Once, while he was being especially loud, I swatted him with a butt bat and told him to go take a cold shower. He moaned at me, but grudgingly walked off the top of the hill. With a little prodding, he walked across the pasture and directly into the pond, where he soaked his sorrows for a couple of hours.

It’s when I move him to another pasture, away from his herd for a few months after calving season, that his cries change. He still calls out for his girls, especially when he sees them in the other pastures demonstrating estrus. The difference in his cry is most noticeable at night. With the donkeys on patrol against predators, my cows are pretty quiet at night. Mamas and babies stick close together; and my yearlings and “Mavric” are safely tucked away on the other end of the barn.

While “Mavric” is never by himself, when he’s separated from the majority of his herd, he cries out all through the night. Not his typical “Hey girls” bugling, but a longing cry that seems to say “I’m here girls, I want to be near you; to protect and care for you but Papa has me in lockdown. I miss you so much.” I know he is separated for a good reason, but the way he stands at the gates and fences and cries his longing cries almost breaks my heart. Of course, I’m never happy when I find he’s broken through a heavy chain to get through one of the gates to go visit his ladies.

I’ve been thinking lately about how often I cry out for God with that same longing? The questions I ask myself range from why do I feel so separated from Him to why can’t I seem to be able to do anything without Him? I also wondered, what do my longing cries look and sound like to God. Crying out for God is something demonstrated throughout the Bible. David, Moses, the Prophet Elijah, Job, and many others, including Christ Himself, give us examples. In its most simple form, crying out to God is done in the form of our prayers.

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It is in crying out for God that we express our dependence upon Him. Is God moved when we cry out for Him with our prayers? I think so; but I also believe God sees and knows our hearts, and responds in kind. For example, are we praying because that’s what Christians are supposed to do; so we’re going through the motions? Are we asking for the things we want God to do for us without ever asking what God wants us to do for Him? Many Christians today view prayer as unidirectional, rather than being a two-way conversation with God. Too often, we pray give me, not guide me.

Whether we seek Him in prayer with a contrite, repentant heart, asking His forgiveness or with praise for blessings in our lives, He listens to those who are genuine. God listens to those who cry out in earnest, longing for His presence. Our prayer goal should be allowing our prayers to create that sweet-smelling aroma (Psalm 141:2) as we come to Him with praise and petition.

God’s blessings,

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50 thoughts on “A Longing Plea

  1. J.D.,
    I always enjoy your posts so much! They always bless me. You are so benevolent and caring toward Mavric. Even when it seems to him that you are being uncaring, by penning him up in “solitary confinement”, your actions are loving. He doesn’t understand your ways; but, he benefits from your lovingkindness.
    Still, his response is godly! His heart cries out! May ours be the same! When we find ourselves “in the pen”, may we too cry out in prayer to our God, whose love for us is everlasting.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Gena. You are so right ma’am. In the same way “Mavric” doesn’t understand why I separate him from the recovering and nursing mamas, or why I can’t let him “seek greener pastures”, I see myself in his thoughts and actions. The difference is God gifted me with faith and self-control. It’s up to me to exercise both though. Great thoughts ma’am.

  2. J.D., I am smiling reading about Mavric. He sounds like he has a big personality to match his size. I’m thankful our Lord is only a whisper away. Sometime I just whisper His name if dark dreams awaken me in the night.

    1. He certainly does Ms. Debbie. It’s seldom that I am so comfortable around an animal that is 10 times my size and could cause great bodily harm. This isn’t to say that I’m careless (or fearless) around him, as I respect his size and recognize he doesn’t think the same way I do. Yet, I can rub all over him; and I sit with my back to him as he puts his head on my shoulder. We have developed a trust of one another, but that trust is based on mutual respect. I think God wants us to trust Him in the same way my cattle and livestock trust me. In ways perhaps, they place their faith in me to care for them.

  3. I love how you see the personalities in your herd and not only that – you understand and guide them with patience, love and kindness – just as our wonderful Lord does.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. I do my best to treat each of them as their own unique personality; something each has. Some, like “Mavric” or “Aunt Louise”, I can love all over. Others, like “Frances” or “Uno”, I keep my distance from out of respect (they don’t like to be crowded). I think God sees each of us in that same way. Some of us He expects to climb into His lap and share every moment with. Others, He knows to keep a watchful eye on while caring from a bit more distance. He always invites and welcomes us, but allows us to come to Him rather than initiate the contact.

  4. Another good one, J.D. My times of groaning to the Lord about my circumstances were the times He taught me the most. This is not the same thing as common complaining. I wallow in my complaining about the here & now. But my groaning longs for something more that I can’t yet grasp. “and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons — that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free.” -Rom. 8:23

    1. Yes! It seems when I need Him the most, when I cry out to Him, is when He teaches me the most too. Why is it we are more open and receptive when the clouds are darkest? Our fallen human nature I suppose.. Will sure be glad when more of that is gone and more of Christ’s character takes control in my life too. 😀

  5. I share conversation with God all day and during the night when I wake. I am thankful to be able to cry out to Him and feel comfort. Love your messages J.D. Have a blessed day! Praying for Ms. Diane and for you, too.

    1. Thank you Ms. Mimi. Me and you both ma’am. I love how He’s always ready to hear our heartfelt pleas ma’am. And thank you so much for your prayers. Ms. Diane is getting stronger with each day.

  6. May we all cry out to God with sincere and thankful hearts, J. D. Let’s pray, as you said, for His guidance rather than His giving us what we think we need. As for Mavric, his Papa knows what is best for him even when he doesn’t understand things. Great post, my friend!

    1. Thank you Ms. Martha Jane (sorry, but I love that name combination ma’am; and I bet you cook shrimp and grits like nobody’s business). 🙂 I’m with you in praying for God’s guidance rather than His approval of my plans. It’s much more important as 12-year old Jesus said; “To be about my Father’s business.” God’s blessings ma’am; and hope Mr. Danny and your blessed mama are both doing better.

  7. Another great story! I’m learning so much about bulls now, lol. Isn’t it remarkable how these dear animals can reflect our human struggles as we appeal to the Lord? I agree, the Holy Spirit is our guide, and the Lord answers us in His time. Just as you understand how your corralling your bull is for his best, so God’s corralling us is for our best. We may not understand it at the time, but that’s where walking in faith is key. God has a plan, and we can completely trust Him.

    1. Yes! And if I’m honest with myself, I don’t like it anymore than my buddy “Mavric” does when the Holy Spirit corrals me. I’m extremely grateful that He does/did, but in the moment, not so much. Praise God, He is patient with me and doesn’t have to swat me with His butt bat too often these days. 🙂

  8. Another great post and food for our application. What comforts me is knowing he hears my cries before I utter a sound and knows where I am. And whether I’m pretty – or handsome as the above illustration describes doesn’t matter. I’m always welcomed.

    1. Amen Ms. Marilyn. How many of us ever stop to consider all that God does for us before we even have to ask Him for it? We too often forget that every breath is a blessing! Well said ma’am.

  9. J.D., I’ve done a lot of crying out to God with my recent cancer diagnosis. I’m so glad He hears and blesses me with His peaceful presence and healing Word.

    Thanks for this reminder that our God hears our cries.
    I always enjoy reading the goings-on at the “Cross-Dubya.”

    1. Yes. We’ve both been doing a lot of crying out lately my friend. And like you, I find great comfort in knowing God hears my pleas. I pray He also sees my heart and He continues to break it for those who don’t have that loving, trusting relationship with Him through our adoption in the His family through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Oh, how I hurt for those who don’t have God to lean upon. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post; and I thank you so much for making the time to comment sweet friend. Know that we’re still praying you through this journey and that we will always #WeLoveBeckie Stay strong gentle friend. We’re lifting you up daily!

  10. Thanks for another thought-provoking piece, J.D. I love your gift in painting pictures and then interpreting them in the context of principles that bring God’s truth to life. Like the rest of your fans, I could “see” Mavric pacing around trying to figure out how to get where, at least in his mind, he belonged. If bulls have a sense of purpose, I have no doubt that his was wrapped up in his relationship with those cows. I’ve been called bull-headed more than a few times, but in this case, I’d love to be so caught up in the interactive relationship with the Jesus Christ that without it, I’d have no sense of purpose. Beyond that, I’d love to be more willing to charge through a fence or two rather than remain feeling separated from Him. Great job, my friend–as usual.

    1. Am humbled by your kind words Mr. Ron. I think all of us have been guilty of being “bull-headed” and “tunnel-visioned” from time to time. Part of our “human condition” is our sometimes misaligned single-mindedness. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong mind we’re using. Romans 12:2

    1. Am so very glad you enjoyed Ms. Debbie. And thank you so much for commenting ma’am. It’s always nice to know folks acknowledge the effort. God’s blessings to you and Mr. Donnie ma’am. And thank you for that wonderful chicken tortilla soup the other night! What a special blessing.

  11. We learn so much from nature and our animals. I think God grants them special wisdom in hopes we will learn from them. I have that “longing plea”, too. Praying for God’s guidance. Thank you for this inspiring message.

    1. We certainly can Ms. Katherine. I wonder sometimes if God put them here as object lessons for us. So few take the time to look beyond seeing an animal they have dominion over. We never consider WHO has dominion over us.

  12. You made me laugh with the beginning of your story. It reminded me a body builder strutting in front of the crowd waiting on the whistles (lol). Such goings on at the Cross Dubya!
    But that voice of longing is what we need to be sending up to our Father as we long to be close to our Protector. Blessings, J.D. Your stories are always inspiring as well as entertaining.

    1. LOL… You know; I never had the image before reading your comment, but yes, very much like that. You made me laugh too my friend. And I agree; we need to be crying out to God much more than we do I think ma’am. I’m so very glad you enjoy my posts ma’am; as I do yours.

  13. I remember some of my most heartfelt and wounded cries to God were met with His Presence. He is so good to us. I can imagine I can sound like Mavric sometimes. Thank you for your post! We can learn so much from animals.

    1. We sure can Ms. Stephanie. I join you in crying out for God my friend; just wish I would do it sooner rather than when I’ve exhausted all my other avenues. Guide, not give Lord. Amen!

    1. LOL… Yes ma’am. A bull bugling in the midst is a sound one can never forget isn’t it? God’s blessings ma’am. I too am so glad He listens to our heartfelt pleas.

  14. Great analogy, J.D. Sometimes I think we are just going throught the motions in prayer. Yet, there are many in the Bible who cried out to God: the prophets, Psalmists, Hannah, King David, Jeremiah, Moses, and more including those who cried out to Jesus Christ when He walked on the earth. It’s those times my heart and lips cry out to God in the darkest of times or shouting praises to the King of Glory that change me and give me peace.

    1. Me too Ms. Karen. When I start to feel they are bouncing off the ceiling and returning to me void, I realize that it’s time for me to check my “Prayer Purpose.” If I’m only praying because that’s what Christians are supposed to do, then I’m wasting my time and God’s. Instead, I need to have a heart check and find where my passion for His companionship and Lordship has gone.

  15. “It is in crying out for God that we express our dependence upon Him.” YES! He knows our needs better than we do, but God wants us to acknowledge our need for Him. It’s one way we grow closer to our Father.

    1. Amen Ms. Candyce. So very true ma’am. There’s nothing we can say or do that God doesn’t already know, but when He sees the condition of our heart (i.e. when our love is fixed on Him), then that “sweet smelling aroma” arrives in heaven. Like you, I long to please God because of who He is in my life, not because of who I am. God’s blessings sweet friend; and I’m praying you birdie the last six holes of your next round.

  16. I enjoy being with you and the bulls and calves and the ladies and gents out on your ranch, JD. You have a beautiful way of tuning into spiritual truths while at the daily tasks.
    Loved this powerful truth: “Are we asking for the things we want God to do for us without ever asking what God wants us to do for Him? Many Christians today view prayer as unidirectional, rather than being a two-way conversation with God. Too often, we pray give me, not guide me.”
    That’s got me thinking. I appreciate it!

    1. You and I both are pondering those questions Ms. Mary; and on behalf of all of us here at the Cross Dubya, we’re just proud as peacocks y’all can come visit with us each week. We love having you ma’am. 🙂 Please come back won’t ya?!

  17. Such an amazing story about Mavric! And I really appreciate this spiritual lesson from your ranch about how we need to cry out to God. I’m so thankful God always hears my cries! And I probably sound like a complainer sometimes just as Mavric does!

  18. You never cease to amaze me, J.D., at how interesting and relevant your blog posts are. I wish I could be so intuitive and creative as you. One thing I’ve discovered in crying out to God is that I can display my raw feelings, my anger, my longings, whatever it may be. I learned a long time ago that God enters my pain with me so that He endures it as well. That, in itself, brings me comfort.

    1. Oh, to one day become the writer you think me to be Ms. Karen. What a sweet and kind thing to say ma’am. Newsflash! I pray I can emulate the way you write, with such passion and conviction. God’s blessings ma’am.

  19. Love your cattle stories. I laughed about the cold shower and Mavric’s walk to the pond. And the way you tied everything back to our crying out to God–you have a special gift!

    1. It made me laugh too when it happened Ms. LuAnn. That’s one of the many reasons I’m certain God has a wonderful sense of humor. You can’t make this stuff up! Thank you so much for reading and commenting ma’am.

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