Re: Free will
God created people with the capacity to evaluate questions and decisions and decide for themselves.
Being God, he knows (all religions I know of agree that God knows everything) what the possible outcomes of each decision that every person makes, and how they affect every other person. Just because he knows something does not mean he causes it to happen.
Are there certain decisions that have more evident consequences? Yes. And since some decisions are more evident than others, it stands to reason that most if not all of those junctures have godly and ungodly possible outcomes.
Related to that, some people thank that something that causes grief is something that God 'let' happen. But often that is not true. Quite often God knows what will happen if you have to make a decision down the road based on (a) decision(s) you already made. But, because of one of those decisions, you now can't have (or have to have) something else.
And other times God knows that someone you will have contact with down the road won't be able to make it through a hard time without help. Unfortunately (from our perspective) in order for you to help, you have to go through the same thing. But, God, knowing that you are strong enough to get through the hardship, puts you through it, knowing the outcome before it happens, even with all the decisions along the way.
Maybe it's because I had a really bad struggle with depression when I was in high school, but regardless of the reason, I know of two people in particular that had trouble dealing with depression that I was able to help.
The interesting part of that is that at the time, I did not know they were struggling with depression. In fact, one I had not met until after the battle was won.
So had I decided to off myself in HS, who knows what would have happened in those two other families, not to mention my own.