In the Garden of Good and Evil
The Scriptures say a reason God has allowed this mosh-pit of a world is that we might “cry out” and “return” to God. Happy and content people don’t see their need for God, desperate people do. Trauma and calamity shake the very foundations of our life and force us to reexamine ourselves - our beliefs, lifestyles and choices.
While we’re discussing this ideal world for soul making, it might be instructive to make an observation about the physical laws of such a world. It would need to operate on strict cause and effect.
It is only in consequences we are able to act as true moral agents. If God’s always going to keep my car from crashing, why even look where I’m driving? It’s not simply, “Why do people suffer?" but, “Why did my mother suffer?” As a Christian, the following passage is one of the most powerful in the New Testament:
As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out — the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” (Luke 7:12,13)
I find it comforting to read that Jesus’ “heart went out to her.” Intellectually, it helps to know God has reasons for my suffering. I am comforted that God is pained by my pain. He is not distant, uncaring or unmoved by my suffering.
The scriptures are saturated with expressions of God’s compassion. The Mosaic Law going as far as to legislate against animal suffering. I do not know what pain you’ve experienced or what event or events would lead you to read this article, but the message of the Scriptures is God deeply cares and is moved by your suffering.
It also states there will be a day when God will put an end to evil and suffering.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)