This week's Torah portion[i] lists the most gruesome curses a Jew could possibly imagine; each one more horrible than the one before it. They are hard to read let alone look back on our history and see that they actually happened.
What disgusting sin could we possibly have done or (G-d forbid) could we possibly do that would bring about such horrible things? No one could have done anything that evil.
The Torah tells us what we did. The curses are listed twice. Here and in the book of Deuteronomy. The second time they are listed the Torah tells us exactly what we did that brought them. They came "…because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant."[ii]
We were serving. It does not say that the curses came because we refused to serve G-d. It says that even when everything was good for us we did not serve Him with joy.
G-d wants His children to be happy. Every father wants his children to be happy. And when even an earthly father gives his child whatever he needs and still sees the child serving him reluctantly or with sorrow, the father gets angry with the child.
G-d wants us to be happy so He gives us what we need. No, we do not get everything on our dream list. We get the things that are best for us and have earned.
G-d wants us to be happy, especially when we are doing a mitzvah. Then, when He sees that we are following His instructions happily He will be able to give us even more.