A Hunger and A Thirst

Seeing a nursing calf in the springtime on our Cross-Dubya ranch is a common occurrence. Hearing one, then noticing their vigor from 30-feet away is a different story. While filling a watering trough, I paid little attention to “Aunt Yolanda” (the mama) allowing “Sophia” (her three-month-old calf) to nurse. A few moments later, a noise drew my attention; followed by what I can best explain as a cow’s version of a boxer working a speed bag.

Most of you may have witnessed a calf suckling its mother and are familiar with the bumping (or bunting) of the udder to stimulate mama to let down her milk. It wasn’t until recently that I learned this letting down of milk in cattle works the same way with human mothers and babies. A baby’s suckling releases oxytocin, which stimulates the release (“letting down”) of milk in nursing mamas. Tell me again how this is evolution and not the design of our Creator God. I think most human mothers are grateful their babies don’t bump mama with their head to nurse; but then again, their baby doesn’t weigh 175 pounds. An interesting side note is that when bottle feeding a calf, they bump the bottle (almost knocking it out of our hands) in the same way.

What caught my attention on this afternoon was the loud smacking of Sophia’s lips and the vigorous way she was nursing. The heat of the day had made my little heifer calf both thirsty and hungry. At three-months old, she is eating grass and small feed, but still nurses mama at least three times each day. If you’ve never seen a calf nurse, here’s a link to the video I took (Sophia’s lunch).

Watching my little calf enjoying her afternoon meal, I thought about how vigorously she was seeking nourishment. In that moment, the words of Psalm 107:9 came to mind.

“For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the
hungry with good things”
(Psalm 107:9, NLT)

As is often the case here in “God’s classroom”, it led me to ask myself a question. How much stronger would my faith be if I pursued righteousness as fervently as that little gal was pursuing her meal? I asked myself, how energetic am I during my Bible study? I wondered, how far could God grow me if I studied His word more energetically? While I try to prayerfully read and understand God’s word each day, I can’t say I pursue it as enthusiastically as my calf nurses. Can any of us?

How enthusiastic are you about growing closer to God? Share on X

In reading Matthew Henry’s commentary on this verse, I saw those words in a different context. Oh, give me a big plate of chicken-fried steak and mashed taters and you’ll see some pretty enthusiastic eating, but my Bible study has become almost perfunctory, perhaps too routine. In Mr. Henry’s commentary, he wrote about how the sojourners across the scorching sands of the desert must have thirsted as they escaped Egypt. In his writing, he offered the following for our consideration.

Consider those “whom the Lord has redeemed from the
bondage of Satan; who pass through the world as a
dangerous and dreary wilderness, often ready to
faint through troubles, fears, and temptations. Those
who hunger and thirst after righteousness, after God,
and communion with him, shall be filled with the goodness
of his house, both in grace and glory.
” –Matthew Henry

Thinking about those words, I can see how we might compare our lives today with passing through a desert. Today’s culture seems intent on dismissing and hiding from public view all things Christian. We see the results of the world’s abandonment of godly morals and values on the evening news as more shootings, killings, robberies, abuse, and deceit grow with each passing year. To maintain and grow our Christian faith and righteousness, we must seek God’s wisdom and guidance in our lives with increasing fervor.

Do we hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness with the same fervor as a nursing calf? Share on X

I pray this example of how my nursing calf seeks satisfaction encourages you to apply that same vigor to satisfy the needs of your journey in faith this week.

God’s blessings,


54 thoughts on “A Hunger and A Thirst”

  1. Thank you for these weekly lessons from “God’s Classroom”, J.D. They never fail to remind me of the truths in God’s Word! “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled!” Amen.

  2. Totally GET the comparison to today…The promise that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be FILLED” is a wonder. I read this a.m. about Simeon, living in expectation of HELP FOR ISRAEL. For me that applies to our nation, too, and our individual needs. Thanks, J.D.

    1. Amen! I’m with you there Ms. Gail. Not sure this nation wants to be restored any longer, but I know of some very dear individuals who can’t stop praying fervently for just that my sweet friend. hope you’re growing stronger ma’am.

  3. It takes some imagination to believe in evolution! What lengths the fallen human heart will go to to deny God. Enjoyed the video. Yes, J.D., I want to seek God with the same eagerness as Sophia!

    1. Yes ma’am; it sure does Ms. Debbie. My logical mind simply can’t make a leap that far my friend. 🙂 I can believe in creation, because I can see the consistency and order in it.

  4. Jeannie Waters

    J.D., I’m grateful you share from your ranch experiences (God’s classroom) . May our fervent feeding on God’s Word increase. He has so much to teach us.

  5. Sometimes we can miss the most obvious lessons, J.D., and you are such a faithful and effective remedy for that in so many ways, It has been decades since I heard a calf nursing, but I can recall loving the scene as a kid. As usual, you are spot on about how easily we can slip into a routine-driven and Lackadaisical approach to our time in the Word, and I appreciate the admonition to work against that. The other thing that probes my heart about this piece is how effectively the devil perverts our appetites and misdirects our quest to satisfy them. I don’t even want to know how many times I’ve latched onto a “toxic teat” if you will, and worked myself into a lather trying to satisfy my hunger for pleasure or thirst for self-indulgence. In any case, thanks again, my friend, for an inspirational and spiritually nourishing piece. Oh, and the video was a great addition, too.

    1. I loved that characterization of a “toxic teat” Mr. Ron. I’ll be parting with a mama cow soon with that very problem. 🙂 Just never quite heard it put that way sir. But yes, we sometimes pursue sin with such zeal and fervor that we are blinded to the truth. I sometimes wonder how our nation would be different had we pursued morality and godly values as energetically as many seem to pursue ungodliness. Great comments sir. Thank you as always for sharing such wisdom.

  6. This is such a good reminder , J.D. for all of us when we sometimes settle for quick superficial times with God! I shall keep Sophia in mid next time I’m tempted to do that!

    1. Am sure glad to know I’m not the only one who sometimes gives God a “fly by” my friend. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to share dedicated, quality time with God rather than trying to fit Him into our “drive-thru” lifestyle these days. Well said ma’am. Thank you!

  7. I, too, want to be as determined as Sophie when it comes to getting my spiritual feeding from God, J. D. You’ve given us another memorable life lesson here, for sure! I’m going to hop on over to the video link you posted to see for myself.

    1. Thank you Ms. Martha. Hope you enjoyed that video ma’am. I’ve started realizing that what is “everyday” to me is sometimes a new adventure for others. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. So very true Ms. Emily. And congratulations again ma’am on your recent announcement about your writing journey. Many more will be blessed by your efforts ma’am. Will be praying daily.

  8. Great picture and illustration and having nursed three babies I can fully relate! I pray to have that same excitement and fervor for God’s Word – thank you for the wonderful reminder.

    1. Thanks Ms. Ann. I’m so glad the post was relatable and understood ma’am. I too pray to seek God with that same desire as my little calf. God’s blessings.

  9. I didn’t know calves bumped their mothers’ udders to let the milk down. What patient mamas to endure that (although maybe it’s a relief to them). Yet what an apt analogy you’ve drawn to how we should hunger and thirst for God’s Word.

    1. Yes. I’m constantly amazed too as I learn more about the animals God has placed in my care Ms. Barbara. I’ve watched mamas stand in a downpour and not move while their babies nursed, and I’ve watched others in the herd surround and protect the mama and newborn calf until the little calf can stand on its own and follow mama. It’s a wonderful experience to see and learn from.

  10. I never tire of your lessons from the ranch and how they so aptly apply to our spiritual lives. So interesting and so good. I pray to never abandon my faith or biblical principles as the world, but to instead follow Christ with complete abandon.

  11. Love the video. What a vigorous yearning for nourishment that little gal has! If I’m full of the world’s offerings, I don’t feel the hunger and thirst meant to be satisfied in Jesus. Grateful when He wakens me with an empty stomach each day and offers a banquet of His word. It’s a challenge to allow my soul to stay hungry for what only He can provide. But His grace is sweet and welcomes me to join him at the table.

    1. Amen Ms. Mary! What a great point. And yes, that’s an as enthusiastic little eater as I’ve seen in quite some time. And she has the cutest little face. LOL Especially when it’s covered in mama’s thick, nourishing milk.

  12. Our puppy exhibits elevated activity when the treats come out. It’s a strong reflection of your calve’s nursing when the teat delivers.

    I’ll forever think of God’s grace in our lives when He arranged for Cinderella to live with us, and when JD urged us to approach God like our critters come to us.

    1. Awww shucks. Thank you Mr. Warren. While the video doesn’t show it, I’m sure you remember how you can always tell when a calf is getting milk when it’s nursing. You can be assured (as the video shows milk dripping from her mouth) that little Sophia’s tell was wagging 90mph. 😀

  13. Tracy Kicklighter

    What I needed to read tonight. It resonated in my heart, mind, spirit. Tonight I peacefully watched my neighbors’ cattle and their babies. It was near sundown on a low humidity Florida summer night. My best friend and her sprite of a child joined me.
    And I felt sweetly blessed.

  14. Yvonne Morgan

    I hope to always be this thirsty and hungry for my spiritual milk from my Lord. Thanks for another great lesson.

  15. J.D., such a good analogy. May I be hungry and thirsty for God’s Word every day. May it be what I first and foremost long for. And may my desire increase with each passing day. Thank you for sharing your ranch lessons!

  16. I always look forward to your posts, JD and I love this one. Sure, I hunger and thirst for God but I don’t seek Him vigorously unless I’m facing a great struggle. To satisfy my thirst, I must go after Him like Sophia goes after her physical nourishment.

    Lesson learned!

    1. Isn’t that so true Ms. Candyce. It seems the more urgently we need God, the more vigorously we seek Him. You sure made me stop, think, and pray with those truths ma’am. God’s blessings.

  17. The questions you asked yourself gave me a painful awareness that I cannot answer in the affirmative. My “feeding on God’s Word” is not anywhere near the enthusiastic response it should be. Certainly not like Sophia’s! Thank you sir, for this clear reminder that I need to give my time with God the energy and enthusiasm it deserves. May God bless you, my friend.

  18. Amen, brother JD! I love this analogy. Yes, you’ve also inspired me to seek His face, read His Word, and grow in my faith more. What a blessing we will experience as we eagerly pursue our Lord and Savior.

    1. Indeed we do Ms. Karen. If we truly invest ourselves in seeking Him, we are ALWAYS rewarded with wonderful blessings of peace, love, joy, grace, and a desire to return for more. Amen my friend.

  19. This is such a beautiful post, my friend. Thanks for educating me even further about ranch life and Creation.
    I loved watching calves nurse at Granddaddy’s. I thought the bumping resulted from the calve’s impatience.
    You’re such a blessing.
    Happy Independence Day to you and Diane.

    1. Perhaps there is indeed some impatience in that action Ms. Connie. Especially when the calves get a bit larger and mama isn’t quenching their thirst fast enough. 🙂

  20. Hunger and thirst are driving forces to satisfy a perceived need. At times, I wish life would let me go so that I could sit and soak in to a much greater extent the glory of God’s goodness. Yet I must discover it within the context of the day’s activities. Pray as I walk the dogs rather than lean back in the chair. Worship when I am driving to my mother’s house rather than listen to the Christian radio station in my bedroom. It is challenging as a writer, as a caregiver, as a musician, as a spouse, to exercise, etc. to dedicate time to all of these things. After a quiet time, it must be implemented throughout the day . . . as you well know. To know God deeper can never be satisfied but the search is rewarding.

    1. Yes ma’am. Sometimes it feels like we have to “fit God in”. I don’t like those times as it reminds me of two important truths in my life. One is that when it happens to me, I feel I’ve not placed Him number one in my life. Secondly, I find I am unbalanced and not as at peace when I “rush through” my God time. When I start to feel those things, I remind myself to re-check my priorities (and admittedly recognize that sometimes, life does get in the way) and to find those short periods of time that help me reconnect and remain connected to Him.

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