When all is right with my world, its easy for me to believe that God loves me. Birds are singing, blue skies up above, perfect hair day, its pure bliss and man, I am favored of the Lord. Then my tire goes flat, or the account is overdrawn, or my kids act up and I'm certain that I must have done something wrong. We all experience good days and trying days, and for most of us, the trying days are more difficult to navigate than the examples I gave, but I find that on the difficult days, that's when my trust that He loves me is truly evident.
The hard days are the ones that shape us when we really think about it. They reveal who we really are, what we are made of. They are those hard parts of the Bible, like the Book of Job, and that long dissertation Paul gives about all the things he went through for the sake of the Gospel. We are reminded that we should count ourselves blessed when we go through things.
A few years ago a movie came out, The Kingdom of Heaven, in which an old knight finds his illegitimate heir and right before dying from wounds received from defending this heir, he props himself up in front of his son and charges him with the Knight's Oath. Just as he's finishing, he says, "And that's so you'll remember it" as he hauls back and backhands the boy. That scene has always stuck with me. These amazing last words over a son, mingled with the shock of a surprise blow.
How many times have I walked into things gung ho and full of zeal, promising this and that and not even realizing the weight of my words? Not understanding the truth that I'm speaking, and the road I must walk to bring it about is not what I am expecting. Only the love of a father can seek us out, remind us of who we are and charge us with our destiny. It is a good father who reminds his children to never forget.
Throughout scripture the Lord instructs His people to not forget, to remember, to set up memorial stones, to write words on their hearts. Remember what I've already done for you, so that when the hard times come you won't go slinking back to your old ways, you'll stand firm and not question my goodness and my heart for you. Without the struggle there would be nothing to remember, no place to draw a line and say that is done, it is overcome. Would I forget too easily without the loss, without the remembered sting of pain? When I am tempted to think that He doesn't really love me, I can look at what He's already done and remind myself.