I prefer to look at it differently. Free will, while a beautiful blessing, also allows for evil and death to roam our fallen and broken world. God did not encourage the diseased man to rape the child; He was devastated at the evil perpetrated. In the same way God did not multiply the pestilence or prevent the rain from coming so that the children would starve to death. He shared the pain of those parents and their community as they watched their beloved wither and die. The imagery that comes to mind for me is of Jesus holding the raped child and weeping for the diseased man. He is standing with the parents burying their children and telling them that everything will be ok. The broken are those who have tried too hard to handle life on their own. The ones who wouldn't or didn't know how to place their pain and suffering at the foot of the cross. Life is more than any of us can handle, but by accepting that you cannot do it alone and by being willing to Trust God and offer him the weight you are carrying you can make it through.
My vision is not of an aloof God who just watches us from afar nor of a God who intentionally puts us in harms way. I don't like putting limits on God. Any time we try to define Him we are putting Him in a box (no matter how large that box may be) and since we can never fully understand Him I wonder if it is better to hold onto simple sayings or images that bring us comfort, because the end result is the same. When you say, "God will never give you more than you can handle" what you are saying is that you have to Trust Him to help you take care of things. That part is absolutely true.