Hug In and Hold On!

Most of us have heard the biblical promise found in James 4 that says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Did you ever wonder why that promise is so important? The following lesson I learned while growing up on a dairy farm in West Virginia might help answer that question.

We milked cows each morning and evening, and these beasts had powerful hind legs that could do some significant physical harm if they connected with a knee cap or a jawbone.  Some of the cows were docile and easy to manage.  They were a pleasure to work with for one reason; they did not try to kick at the person who was milking them.  However, there were two kinds of cows that made life miserable for this milk maid.

When a cow had “dropped” her calf (given birth, for you city folk) her udder would soon become tender and swollen with the excess milk.  Any woman who has ever nursed a baby knows how uncomfortable the breast can become shortly after delivering.

Those poor old cows with the tender teats would then have to have automatic milking machines attached to them.  Often the udders would become infected with mastitis, causing painfully infected milk ducts.  If we did not empty out the udders and relieve the pressure they could actually split open and the cow would be lost.  Despite the pain, those poor old mamas had to be milked.

The other kind of cow I dreaded being around was the young heifers that were nervous and unfamiliar with the milking process.


It’s safer to get closer

Whenever I would attempt to milk either of these cows I was taking a risk.  Oddly enough, I found that if I stayed back from them because I feared being kicked, the chances of being injured actually increased.  So, I would take a deep breath, move in closer and literally wrap my arm around their middle section and hug in tightly. As crazy as it might sound, staying close was the safest place for me to be.

My “hug in and hold on” approach to milking cows contains an important picture that has helped me through the years and it might be meaningful to you. The wild flying legs of a cantankerous cow is like the troubles that life can throw at us. The big body is like our loving Heavenly Father. Hugging in and holding on to Him is the safest place to be.

Psalm 91:14-16 is a great reminder of the comfort His presence provides in a world that is full of harmful hooves.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him, with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

     Is life kicking at you at this very moment? Do you feel unsafe and vulnerable?  If so, now is the time to “hug in and hold on” to God.

Annie and Heidi

09 Nearer My God To Thee_Heidi Chapman Beall_Hymns From God’s Great Cathedral


Nearer My God to Thee

(From, “Hymns From God’s Great Cathedral”/Vocalist: Heidi Chapman Beall)


Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee

E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me

Still all my soul shall be nearer my God to Thee

Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee


Tho’ like the wonderer be, the sun goes down

Darkness be over me, my rest a stone

Yet in my dreams I’ll be, nearer my God to Thee

Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee


There let my way appear steps up to Heav’n

All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv’n

Angels to beckon, nearer my God to Thee

Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee


Words and Music:  Sarah F. Adams; Lowell Mason (PD)


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