How could there be a good God when you see all the suffering, injustice, and disasters in our world ? Such a God would not allow such things to happen! This is the well-known argument for agnosticism or atheism – known to all of us as the "problem of suffering". But what if God gave us a good world and free will ? What if we used our free will to pervert this world and abuse it and turn it into the godless mess it is today ? We tend to answer - "if he really cared about us, he would have stopped us". But what if he cared about us so much that he didn’t want to turn us into a bunch of robots that could be controlled by "sticks and carrots" – by rewards and punishments ? What if he didn’t want a universe of "knee-jerk, Pavlov dogs" that acted in response to external stimuli or punishments and rewards ? What if he wanted real persons to whom he could relate and who could enjoy his company ?
He’d have to find some way in which we could get to know him and yet see what the alternative life away from him was like. This is part of the reason why our world is such a mixture of good and evil. We were made in God’s son who was then entrusted with developing this world through us - and of bearing the nothingness that resulted whenever we rejected his father’s will. This enables our Father to bear all the fatal consequences of our selfish assertiveness yet rectify in his son our own lives and the world until we eventually acquiesce in his vision for us. This perversion and rectification – this death and resurrection continue sequentially in our local solar system but concomitantly in the eternal now beyond time and space. Our creator works with our free wills for the expression of these opposing forces so that we can come to understand and love him.
This difficult concept of knowing the future yet suffering the present has become easier to understand as Einstein helped us to realize we are often looking at stars that no longer exist. As we have begun to glimpse the possibility that time goes more slowly in our space than in outer space, so we see how "a thousand years with God can pass as a day" and that it’s possible for him to see tomorrow while we can see only today. If his infinite mind can see what we are today and what we have become in a million years then all our intermediate states must also exist. Our present lives cease to be an independent striving to overcome and become instead a willing acquiescence as we see our Maker’s will for us. So one can understand the directive to "work out your own salvation for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure".
The reality seems to be that there are two versions of you in existence: there is the present one with all the varied effects and results of a life that operates as if God is someone you call on rarely – and the other one that has been completely remade and in which God’s son does his will through you day by day. It all seems so mystical and unscientific until you start to read quantum physics. Then you begin to realize that today’s physicists talk about reality in some of the same terms. They indicate that their study of the tiniest particles that make up our world seem to behave in unusual ways. When Einstein was concluding his general theory of relativity - in which he presented the fact that time varied according to its location in space – it seemed to him that certain quanta or sub-atomic particles appear to be influenced by each other even though they are separated by great distances. As today’s physicists tried to explain this odd "spookiness at a distance" as Einstein called it, they were drawn to the idea that there were parallel worlds in our universe. Though nothing is proved here by either science or faith about each other, yet the idea of two instantaneous versions of events seems no longer just the possible implication of an omniscient mind.
This world is the tree we chose – it gives us a knowledge of both good and evil so that we see what a world without God is like.