"For we know that all creation groans and travails in pain until now." (Romans 8:22) In the beginning, there was no pain, no suffering, no illness or death. Man was a ‘stranger to sin, sorrows, cares, and difficult necessities.’ St. Symeon the New Theologian, Homily 45
Father Alexey Young (Schema Monk Ambrose)
If Adam and Eve had not transgressed, they would in time have ascended into the most perfect glory and being changed would have drawn near to God…and the joy and rejoicing with which we then would have been filled by fellowship one with the other would, in truth, have been unutterable and beyond human thought, since there would have been no suffering, there would have been no illness and consequently no need for the science of medicine.
“But when man had been deceived and beguiled by the wicked demon, God came to man as a physician comes to a sick man.” God descended to Eden in the cool of the day, and called out, Adam, where art thou? His first manifestation to man after the sin of disobedience was not as a vengeful Judge, “…for God, when He finds a sinner, considers not how He may make him pay the penalty, but how He may amend him and make him better.” St. John Chrysostom, Homily 7 On the Statues
The heavenly physician made the body subject to much suffering and disease so that man might learn from his very nature that he must never again entertain the thought that he could be like unto God.” St. John Chrysostom Homily 11 On the Statues
Sin breeds evil, and evil breeds suffering. Yet this very suffering which originated with Adam and Eve, is a blessing for us all because it forces us to realize how harmful to our souls, and even to our bodies, our faithlessness to God is.” Professor Andreyev, Orthodox Christian Apologetics
Earthly life—this brief period—is given to man by the mercy of the Creator in order that man may use it for his salvation, that is, for the restoration of himself from death to life…" St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (The Arena).