Today was supposed to be a birthday celebration for my brother-in-law, Blue Sky Falconer, as he turned 42 years old. Sadly because of cancer, he died one month ago. It is hard to believe that he is gone. And it is easy to question why this could happen.
So I turn to Job in the Bible, the one who struggles under immense suffering. He questions God. He firmly believes in God. He knows that God is powerful and just. But he is simply having a difficult time trusting God’s goodness and love toward him personally.
Ironically, even with all of Job’s questions, the fact is that God doesn’t answer one of them. Instead, God asks Job a whole series of questions, which in turn cures Job of challenging God.
In my morning reading in The NKJV Daily Bible, these two questions in particular spoken by God to Job have been in my thoughts yesterday and today:
“Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?” (Job 38:17)
Do you know the answer to those two questions. I don’t. I have no control over death. I can’t even predict death.
This past weekend, my youngest son and I hiked the Middle Teton. Interestingly, on the summit, we struck up a conversation with an Exum guide and another girl, possibly his wife, who came up the Northern route of the Middle.
They had come from the summit of the Grand and where making their way over to summit the South Teton in order to complete a full traverse in one day.
I started telling them about the sad story I read in our local newspaper about the climber, Gary Falk, who died on the Grand last month. Gary died at the age of 42. My new friend up on the mountain top responded to me that Gary was his colleague. Who would have predicted that July 23, 2016 would be Gary’s last day on earth? I lifted up a prayer for his wife and kids. Gary is remembered here on facebook.
As creatures, we cannot predict when the doors of death open. But there is One who does know. I don’t even begin to comprehend the number of days that each one of us has to live, but God does. He encompasses both the beginning and the end of our lives here on earth. He knows all about Sheol. He transcends Hades. So on the birthday of brother-in-law, I leave my questions with God, for I certainly cannot even begin to answer any of the questions that God would put forth to me.