One of the great problems and one of the great mysteries of life is the problem of human suffering and the problem of death.

According to the bible when man was put upon earth he was told to be fruitful, to replenish the earth, to subdue it. His first responsibility upon earth was to take care of the garden i.e. earth. To make sure that earth was properly nur- tured and properly supervised. The essence of that command still exists. Much of the suffering and tragedy man experiences is because he has not discharged this responsibility.

Man’s persistence in polluting the water, for example, has caused disease and other problems, which in some cases have been tragic. Man’s unwise use of the land has caused floods and tornadoes that have brought great tragedy and great suffering upon man. When we violate the natural environment that God has given us, we can not expect God to allow the consequences of this violation to occur. Another aspect of the problem of suffering is seen when we fail to heed the warnings of nature and thus reap the consequences.

Indeed this physical body that we live in, ugly as it may be from outside, is a marvelous machine and if properly cared for might run as long as hundred years without a valve job or a new transmission or even a change in oil. Some of us may sometimes feel like we need a new transmission, but the fact of mat- ter is that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Physical pain is that which protects us and enables us to survive in the environment in which we live.

Emotions: –

Same type of thing is true in the emotional sense. Human beings have to ex- perience guilt and sympathy and compassion and should be able to relate to the needs of fellow human beings. One of the greatest tragedies of our society today is the fact that somehow we have equated the ability to be sympathetic, the ability to be compassionate, the ability to relate to the needs of our fellow human beings as weakness – when in fact it is sign of strength.

Ignorance: –

One of our great problems in the area of pain and suffering and death is brought on by ignorance. And that this is true of death more than anything else. Ignorance has caused us to throw away one of the great blessings that we are human beings. In fact is it not a marvelous thing that when those we love are no longer able to exist realistically in a physical way that they do not have to go on suffering. God has provided us means by which the spirit can be sep- arated from the body and the physical pain that we endure now fades in to in- significance. Ignorance is one of the great curses of man. Ignorance of death is one of the great curses of the human beings.

Pain and Suffering: –

No one would want to bring the pain and suffering in to a man’s life, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes it takes pain, sometimes it takes suffering, sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us realize that we need God. Pain hum- bles us. Somebody has said, “Humility is a funny thing, just when you think you have it, you’ve lost it. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us realize that we are not self-sufficient. Sometimes it takes a disease to make us realize that no matter how much money we have, no matter how much vocal we are, no matter how many friends we have, no matter what our situation in life might be, that sometimes there is no one who can help us but God.

Time of Death: –

When we keep putting off our spiritual life to tomorrow, we end up copping out every single day. Death draws near, with every step we take, every tick and

every tock of the clock. It could strike any moment and we can’t do a thing about it. While death is certain, its moment of arrival is unpredictable.

There are two types of lunatics, those who don’t know that they must die, and those who have forgotten that they are alive.

Death seems to be so distant, yet it is always so near. Distant because we always imagine it at some time yet to come; near because it can strike at any moment. While our death is certain, its hour is unpredictable. When it comes, no elo- quence can persuade it to wait, no power can stop it, no wealth can buy it off, no beauty can seduce it.