So often we are surprised that God “would allow” suffering, pain and death. But actually, these unpleasant realities are the promised outworking of God’s response to sin in Genesis 3. Our Creator has clearly and consistently maintained that the wages of sin is death – and all the painful corruption that goes with it. The absence of suffering and pain in a sinful world would be a legitimate cause to question the truthfulness and faithfulness of God.
However, that doesn’t make it feel any better, not to mention that it leaves millions of people bristling at a God who doesn’t relieve their pains. Before you join in, remember that God’s sentence of death on humanity’s sin is a disguised opportunity for his grace. If Adam and his descendants didn’t decay and die, they would be forever separated and banished from God’s perfect fellowship and his perfect gifts. Barring the first couple from the Tree of Life was, as it turns out, an incredible act of grace. A holy God cannot engage in perfect union with fallen creatures.
But in God’s plan our eventual physical death allows for a new start. God sent his Son to purchase for us the ultimate “new start” wherein we could be spiritually and, one day, physically remade without reference to sin and its affects. Because of death, and all it’s ugly and painful implications, those of us who cling to God’s redeeming grace will finally be released from the just consequences of sin and enjoy a new reality, basking in the perfection only briefly experienced in the Garden.