With regards to the seemingly terrible things in life such as natural disasters (i.e. Haitian earthquake, deaths of the tsunami, deaths by tornadoes, volcanoes, etc) and cancer (lung cancer, melanoma ...
The things that happen in the garden of Eden may seem to be a straightforward lesson in obedience But two important moral issues were raised there by Satan. Satan implied that Adam and Eve would not need God in order to decide what was good and what was bad for them. Satan’s challenge therefore brought into question the right and validity of God’s rulership over man. The all-important issue that Satan raised, then, was that of the rightfulness of God's sovereignty. Satan disputed whether God's rulership over his creatures was exercised righteously and in their best interests. Perhaps humans could do a better job of governing themselves. Satan also questioned whether any intelligent creatures would remain faithful and loyal to God when obedience seemed to bring no material benefits.
God had the power to destroy the three rebels, Satan, Adam, and Eve. God was unquestionably stronger than they were. But Satan did not question God’s power. Instead, he questioned God’s right to rule. The issue affected all creatures having free will. They needed to see that the gift of free will must be used properly, within the bounds of physical, moral, and spiritual guidelines from God. Otherwise, harm results, just as surely as injury will occur when a man jumps off the roof of a tall building without regard for the law of gravity. All intelligent creatures could benefit from observing for themselves the bad fruitage of choosing a course of independence from God. This required time.
The fact that it requires time to settle some issues can be illustrated this way: Suppose the father of one family challenges the father of another to a contest that will prove which man is stronger. That issue could be decided quickly. Strength could be measured by lifting rocks. The father who lifted the heaviest rock would be the stronger man. But suppose the challenge involved which father truly loves his sons and daughters and whether they love him in return. Or what if the challenge raises the question of which father manages his family in the best way? Neither a display of strength nor mere words would be adequate. Sufficient time would have to pass, careful observation would be required, and right conclusions would have to be drawn in order for the issue to be settled.
God has been letting man prove to himself that he cannot rule himself. That was what started it all, Adam and Eve question his right to rule. Not that God was stronger. That issue could be decided quickly if that was the case