Why Ask Why?


“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. And to heed than the fat of rams.” Β  1 Samuel 15:22



Now I’m not much of a ‘ram-fat’ person. But I do understand the point the prophet Samuel is trying to get across. Give up chocolate, donate to the poor, pray twice a day. These are great things to do for the Lord. But there’s another practice that beats them all.


The Lord speaks his commands in many different ways. The Scriptures list the Ten Commandments. I know the Beatitudes and the Golden Rule. But there’s another way that God speaks, and I often have a little trouble following it. It’s that still, small voice that speaks so quietly inside me.

I know that God doesn’t speak in a loud, shrill thunderclap. Elijah found that out for himself, and all of us, atop Mt. Horeb. The voice of God was heard in the gentlest breeze. You know that voice. It speaks to you too.

I wrote a blog post about the time it called me to talk to a woman I barely knew. My reaction wasn’t immediate obedience. Oh no. My reaction was: “Why?”

I think there is an eternal eight year old in me that always wants reasons. I agree that obedience is the goal, but it’s a lot easier to jump to the command if I know the whole game plan. So that’s a problem. God is not always forthcoming with blueprints when I ask for them.

It’s like I’m an eight year old playing with Lego’s behind our open front door. I’m concentrating very hard on making a space ship. Suddenly, I hear my mom yelling from the kitchen, “Shut the door!”

She sounds very worried. But instead of just stretching my hand out and pushing the door closed, I look up from my creation and ask, “Why?”

Instead of an answer, I see my mom streaking for the door, and slamming it shut with all her might.

It’s not like my mom doesn’t want to tell me why I should shut the door. I’m sure she’d love to have that conversation over milk and Oreos. But right now, there’s no time for that. There’s a wolf at the door that wants to get in. My mom, who saw it from the kitchen, called out to ask me to be her defender. I missed the opportunity to help.

My desire for a reason left me completely useless.

God can see all the wolves that want to get into my life. He knows when they’re coming, and how much trouble they’ll cause. In his still, small voice he insists, “Shut the door!”

How many times will I make him ask? I wonder how he keeps his own unfathomable peace while I stand there asking for the game plans.

Sometimes, ‘why’ just doesn’t matter.

Maybe the explanation will come later. Maybe I’ll never know. The only thing I need to know? God is telling me something important. There’s a wolf at the door.

And that door isn’t going to shut itself.



Linking up today with: Unforced Rhythms


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66 thoughts on “Why Ask Why?

    • Hi Linda! And he loves you so too. Pretty great!

      I am trying to be better at the obedience, but it’s going to take time. Probably the rest of my life. But I’m ready to try πŸ™‚

      Blessings this Mothers Day,

  1. Hahaha, oh we are SO on the same wavelength. Lol, obedience is something I have been working on the last few weeks with all the big changes in my life. My first response is to question “why” or try to argue. Good thing God is so patient with me! Working on my “yes, Lord.” πŸ˜€

    • Hi Anne! I know you have been through some changes, that’s for sure.

      I am so fortunate too, believe me. The amount of patience God has with me would fill all the oceans. I really want to not try him so much. I’m working on my ‘yes’ too πŸ™‚

      Hope you have a wonderful day,

  2. Evening Ceil, Wow, you touched on a good one for me…..obedience. That word that has been hard for me…….God has taught me a lot in these last few years….over and over. Obedience……..to be obedient……..I want you to be obedient…..be obedient in my word…..listen to my voice and be obedient……..be obedient in giving to me, giving to others……being obedient to the House of the Lord. I don’t need to say more…..I just need to be obedient! blessings~~~Roxie

    • Hi Roxie! How great to see you again!!

      He really does make himself very clear. He wants us to obey so that life will be easier, and we can get to him the shortest way too. I wish it came easier to me. But, I’m in there trying for sure.

      I hope you had a wonderful day!

  3. So very well put Ceil. I often miss the still, small voice. I’m often talking too loud (or too much). However, I have moments, overwhelming moments when I feel Him urging me. At times I didn’t respond to His insistence because I asked why and found the answer to my “why” on my own. My judgment led to many hurts and troubles. Fortunately, like most children… we learn from our errors and hopefully don’t make the same mistake twice.

    Thanks for sharing.

    PS – Did you seriously have a wolf at your door when you were eight?

    • Hi Jennifer! Happy Mothers Day to you!
      You are so right. Stopping to ask why just delays the process. And sometimes that’s painful. I pray I’ll get faster at trusting and obeying that voice in me that is the Lord’s.

      Oh no. No wolves! That was just a metaphor. But I’m sure I drove my poor mother nuts when I’d ask ‘why’ instead of just obeying. That got me into trouble too!
      Blessings to you!

      • I came back here Ceil because I had to see if you answered about the wolves. As I read this, I thought about how all day I’ve been asking WHY? Why did I lose my blog? Have I done something to offend the Lord? Heaven forbid, have I been putting too much of an importance on it? Is this correction or is this to lead me down a better path.

        So many whys. Time to quiet the mind and soul and listen.

        Glad I revisited this evening my friend.

        • Oh my friend, I don’t think God works that way. If you are trying to honor him and help others, you are on the right track. Sometimes technology just doesn’t cooperate. God is perfect, but data bases are not.

          I hope you get a good rest, and that the answers you are seeking come soon. (I wish I lived closer and could share a cup of tea with you.) You know that you’ll be in my prayers as you always are.

          Blessings to you my lovely friend,

  4. Excellent post with good food for thought as always dear Ceil.

    I seem to learn the lesson of obedience very slowly. I try and I try but I fail so often. I’m glad God is patient and forgiving.

    • Hi Joyful! So nice to see you today!

      I’m still that eight year old, so I learn at a slow pace myself. I think the key is to keep trying, and never give up. God is patience, and I have to be perseverance. Being obedient is hard, but I can do it if I keep trying. I’m glad God is patient and forgiving too.

      Have a blessed Monday πŸ™‚

  5. Great Story!

    I think it goes beyond asking “Why?”–what I think is happening is we desire to be in control. AS IF our plan is better than God’s—WHAT A LAUGH!

    Happy Monday, Friend!

    • Hi Lulu! I just love your comments! I started to laugh myself at your ‘What a laugh!’ You need to move in next to me and remind me…OFTEN, when I get frustrated!

      Happy Monday to you too πŸ™‚

  6. Preach it, Ceil! His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. If we have faith, we will realize that unconditional, immediate obedience to Him always ensures the best outcome. Trust and obey — there’s no other way.
    Happy belated Mother’s Day and God bless,

    • Hi Laurie! Oh, I know we both ‘preach it’!

      His ways are higher, no question about that. So why do I keep asking why? As if I would understand the answer anyway. His thoughts are above mine too.

      Thank you for your good wishes my friend πŸ™‚

    • Hi Wanda! I agree that we all have that ‘kid’ in us. I just have to say “SHHH!!” to her πŸ™‚

      Yes, God is not very forthcoming with maps is he? I think he prefers my faith!

      Have a great Monday my friend,

  7. Very profound and very true. Thank you Ceil for this marvellous post. It spoke volumes for me.

    So often we cannot hear that voice because of the noise of our own life and self-interest. And when we do hear it; we question its reasons and doubt its advice.

    You have a wonderful way with words. God bless you.

    • Hi Victor! I’m so glad you liked it!

      Boy are you right about that. I guess it’s a blessing to hear the voice at all, then to strive to obey it. How do we ever do anything right? Thank the Lord for his great love and power in us.

      Thank you for your encouragement, I so appreciate it.
      Blessings to you too my friend,

  8. Hello, Can you believe how after all these years the Lord can still take a childhood experience and still teach us all a lesson! WOW!
    Hugs, Roxy

    • Hi Roxy! Thank you so much, but the story about me as an eight year old and the wolf at the door didn’t really happen to me. You’re the second one to think it did. Yikes. I should have made that more clear. It was a metaphor that just came to me as I was writing.

      I live in an area that does have wolves, but they very rarely come to the door. We’ve had coyotes in the backyard, that’s close enough for me!

      I heard you had a wonderful Mothers Day celebration!

  9. Ok, this is really good! The door will not shut itself and I, too, am one that always asks why? One of the hardest things for me is accepting that I don’t get to know the why, I don’t get to know the answers, the backstory…whatever…it is not for me to know. It is only for me to obey and trust.

    Lovely post…truly lovely.

    • Hi Mary! No kidding…I always want the play book, believe me.

      I am so glad that you could relate. And thank you for your encouraging words. That is so kind of you πŸ™‚

      Have a peaceful night,

  10. Love it! Yup, my family kinda nicknamed me “The Why Girl” – I always wanted to know the *why* of everything. I used to agonize over the things of God that I couldn’t understand. As I’ve gotten older, the need to know everything doesn’t seem as pressing. (I’m calling it maturity – though it just might be that I can’t retain the knowledge even if it was given to me???)

    Actually, a couple of weeks ago I wanted to do some reading about Revelation, and our pastor recommended a great book. Yesterday at church I thanked him for his advice. He said to me, “I don’t know if it will answer all your questions.” And I said to him, “It’s OK. I don’t need to know all the *why’s* anymore. It’s enough to know The Who!”

    I’ve digressed a bit here. But your post touched a chord in me.

    Yes, let’s never let our *why* be an impediment to shutting the door when necessary, or for walking through one when we are called to obedience.


    • Hi Sharon! I don’t think you digressed, you made a good point about how you don’t need to know why so much anymore. You are my heroine! I want to be more like that.

      I really have to remind myself that God knows the best ways, and his ways are not my ways. Obedience is #1, so I shouldn’t need the why. What to do is the biggest thing.

      Thank you for your always thoughtful comments Sharon.
      Have a restful night!

  11. Hey there in real life friend! πŸ™‚ It’s so wonderful to come here today after now meeting in person. I’m still smiling from our time together. ~~smiling~~
    As always, you share a great message. God has been really been speaking to me on obedience lately. I hear often, “Trust in Me.” And I’m learning to trust. Like you said, we may not understand…but we trust anyways.
    Thank you for this encouragement.
    Much love to you.

    • Hi Beth! (My ‘RLF’) I really had a great time with you too. Who else would listen to my mad ramblings for three hours? Your patience and generosity does not stay on your blog, it spills out to your every-day life.

      Trust is a big one, isn’t it? Especially when I think I’m such a hot driver. And I know all the directions. Yeah, right! I need to forget about leaning on my own understanding, and just obey.

      Thank you for coming by tonight! I’m going to post a little photo of my new “Wish” gift and bit about our meet-up on Thursday.
      Looking forward to Wednesdays post too πŸ™‚

    • Hi Margie! I’m so glad you liked what you saw here today. I don’t think its wisdom so much as I love to see God in everything. He doesn’t waste any opportunity to show his life and grace in us. I love that!

      So nice to see you here. Have a blessed day πŸ™‚

  12. Excellent point. Really makes me step back and think about some things in my life. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts – love the way you put things! πŸ™‚

  13. A wolf at the door! Powerful imagine.
    God sees the wolves. God warns us, but we so often fail to listen. I’m guilty of asking “why” of demanding to know the full game plan before I’m willing to obey. Thankfully God is helping me trust Him more.

    • Hi TC! I know that God warns me, and sometimes I’m too busy building rocket ships and who knows what else to listen. Part of the reason I blog is to try and connect more to what he does, and what he is asking of me in this world.

      I pray that he will help me trust Him more too.
      Have a blessed day πŸ™‚

  14. I love your illustration of obedience! There’s a wolf at the door, and the door won’t shut itself. Great example of why we should obey first, THEN ask questions.

    I think I also have an eternal eight year old inside of me, too …

    About the still small voice … I always wonder if perhaps it is just me doing the talking instead of God, but then I realize I could never come up with that stuff on my own …

    • Hi Jerralea! I go through that discernment all the time too. I’m a little better at it, but I suspect I’ll always be asking if it’s me or if it’s God.

      I like the way you know! I probably wouldn’t be able to dream of the things he says either.

      Maybe our eight year olds should have a play date?
      Nice to see you again πŸ™‚

  15. I have the 8yo questioner inside, too. I’m finding, though: the more I obey and experience God’s blessings, the quieter the 8yo becomes. When He’s particularly insistent that I go, it’s often as much or more for my benefit than for that of those whom I serve. I’m starting to enjoy going and just opening my ears, eyes, and heart for what it is He has to show me. There’s so much mystery-surprise, spontaneity, and adventure to Him; don’t you love it?

    • Hi Brandee! Thank you for visiting today πŸ™‚

      Life with God is always an adventure, that’s for sure. That’s great that you are being so obedient to his call, and waiting to see what or whom you will serve. You are joining in on the daily safari to his will. That is fun!

      Good thought about the more you obey, the quieter the eight year old becomes. Wise words for me. I appreciate them!
      Have a blessed afternoon,

  16. Was there really a wolf at your front door? Where did you grow up? Wow!

    I think the more we obey, the louder that voice becomes, until it’s unmistakable. And the feeling of joy I receive when I do “shut the door” is so sweet!

    Thanks for reminding me that I don’t need to know why.

    • Hi Jeanette! No, there wasn’t a wolf in my past. It was a metaphor, and I wrote that badly. Sorry to mislead you…I have to work on that πŸ™
      I’m going to edit that sentence when I’m done here. Thanks!

      I like that thought! That if we keep obeying, the call will be clearer and louder. Love that. Yes, the feeling of obedience is the best!

      Have a restful night my friend,

  17. Dear Ceil
    Oh, this is true of most humans, dear friend! We like to know the reason and know-how of everything in our lives. But faith is now just the kind of thing that cannot be explained. To me faith is something that just is because it is … a gift from Pappa’s hands; not something we can logically reason out.
    Blessings XX

    • Hi Mia! Oh my gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen you! How are you feeling? I hope you had a wonderful blog break, and that you are ready to start up again πŸ™‚

      Oh yes, faith is a mystery, as are the plans of God. Sometimes he’ll give us a peek, but mostly we are to believe and do. That can be a difficult thing. I guess that’s because I always want that reason. But as you say, faith cannot be reasoned.

      So nice to see you again!

  18. Thank you, Ceil, for your thoughtful and insightful words. I guess, as children of God, we are always learning and He is always teaching. We must listen for the opportunity of obedience and try our best to be good students.
    I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and I thank you for your visit. Hugs and blessings sent to you.

    • Hi Kitty! ‘Try our best.’ That’s it I think. That’s all I can do!

      I did have a great Mother’s Day. My daughter was in with her family, so it was busy and fun…just like motherhood!
      I always like visiting your site my friend. Blessings to you too πŸ™‚

    • Hi Kelly! It was so nice to find your bloghop, I did get to meet a few new people, and I love that. Thank you for your kind comment, and I hope to see you again πŸ™‚

      Have a peaceful night,

  19. Ouch. I like to know “why” too often myself. But you’re right that we don’t have to understand why; we just have to do what’s right. Thanks, Ceil. Praying you’re having a blessed week!

    • Hi Lisa! I am having a good week, thank you! Busy today with my husband’s aunt. She is 97 (!) years old. I had to take her to the doctor, and then to see her 94 year old cousin. They don’t get out much, so it was nice to be able to give them some time together.

      I am really enjoying your experiences in the storm. What wonderful work you are doing.
      Have a peaceful night,

  20. Ceil, I’m a “Why” person. I’m trying to be an obedient person when I hear God’s call and not ask why. I have a few times in the past and didn’t really like the outcome. Luckily He gives us many redos to get it right.

    • Hi Kim! Join the club my friend. There are a lot of ‘why’ people out there. I think as long as we are really trying to have faith and walk with him, we’ll be okay. It’s just that sometimes I like to know everything! Ha πŸ™‚

      I think I said this before, but it’s so true…I probably wouldn’t understand the answers anyway. He doesn’t think like I think. I agree, we are so blessed to get the ‘redos’ in life. I take advantage of that plenty of times!

      Thank you for visiting Kim. Always good to see you!

  21. Hi Ceil! I am a questioner too and it’s been really difficult to let go of the “why” of things in my life. God asks for obedience but often we must learn humility and trust first.

    Great post!

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your kind comments! I like that you pointed out the humility factor. I didn’t address that at all, but that’s one of the key ways to block myself from obedience. Great thought! Thank you for adding that.

      Have a good night πŸ™‚

  22. Ceil,
    I can relate to 8 year old me because I can be like that sometimes…and your comment about “ram fat” made me chuckle…So very grateful for God’s patience …I’m learning obedience is easier if I can remember God asks out of love and He knows better than me when I review how He has guided me in the past when I’ve cooperated πŸ™‚ Blessings to you and I hope you had a great Mother’s Day πŸ™‚

    • Hi Dolly! You’ve got it my friend. God doesn’t think like we think. That is a great reason to understand that I should just obey. (Ram fat? Really??)

      I did have a good Mothers Day, thank you for asking! My daughter and her family made sure we were hopping! That’s what motherhood is all about πŸ™‚

      Good to see you. Thanks for your visit!

  23. Sometimes I think you’re telling my heart and life story! Great analogy, Ceil. We really do feel so self important don’t we? Like we know something that might change the outcome that the sovereign God of all creation doesn’t? Seems pretty silly when you break it down like that… That’s the easiest way for those of us on the dense side to begin to get it! This one spoke volumes to me, Ceil. Thanks, I’m getting more used to the truth hurting!

    • Hi Floyd! I’m so glad you liked this post today. I guess asking ‘why?’ does mean that I am making myself more important. I didn’t think of it that way. But it really ties in with what Mary said about humility. It takes a real lack of self to follow obediently. I’m not there yet all the time, but I try!

      I should know by now that God has the plan, and that’s good enough. Like you said, if he can plan creation, I think he can plan my life just fine. Great ideas here Floyd. Thank you for sharing!

      Have a peaceful night πŸ™‚

  24. Hello Ceil,

    I hope you Mother’s Day went well πŸ™‚ oh well, this post is very me…I handed Him with many whys, whens, wheres, whos. But He is loving God, so constant and merciful.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and that’s verse is my motto that I remind me myself always πŸ™‚

    I hope you have wonderful day!

    • Hi Delvalina! I’m glad you could see yourself in this post, I think most of us can relate to the ‘why?’ question. How fun that the Scripture verse I used, you already know so well. It’s a great one!

      We can be so thankful that God is so faithful and constant. Our faith is what he asks of us. Then he can work wonders in us!

      Hope your sewing is going well. Any new projects?

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