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Get back to your first love

Most adults have that one foolish story from their teen years they don’t tell their parents until years later.

The one that sticks out most for me is a cold night in my college years I spent on the streets of Denver just to understand and experience homelessness.

The full story, and my motivations behind it, are for another telling. But I was 25 miles from my college campus and 20 miles from my parents’ house with no money and only a book bag, a jacket and a Bible on a night where lows hovered just above freezing.

Because getting much sleep that night was next to impossible, I passed a chunk of time that night by reading through the entire book of John, just getting to know Jesus a little better.

While I would not recommend a night on the streets, that night kindled something in me that the strain of college life had nearly snuffed out – a deep understanding of how much Jesus loves me, how far he went to show me that love, and what it looks like for me to show that love to others.

I also learned what it really meant to understand the suffering of others by seeing life through their eyes, instead of my own jaded ones, by walking a mile in their shoes. Because this is what Jesus did for me, and the book of John paints an incredible love story in this regard throughout His book.

The writer of Hebrews says it this way:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15, ESV)

The writer reminds us of a God who did not simply remain in Heaven, content to watch us suffer from afar. Instead, the Lord left his throne and walked the cold streets of humanity to experience our pain, to feel our hurts, to strive and struggle in every way that we do, and to suffer far more.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the strains and stresses of life, especially right now, it jades how I look at everything, including Jesus. 

I work so hard just to survive the day and get so cold and numb to the pressures of life, and I begin to miss the most basic truth.

What Jesus did for me is the most incredible love story ever told. He did so much more than walk a mile in my shoes to understand my pain. He died in my place so the pain of this world is not the end of my story.

And above all, as a newlywed husband longs for his bride, he longs for my heart above all else. And too often the cares of life take this heart too far from him.

So, I encourage you, if you feel weighed down, and the cares of life have sapped you of hope and strength, take some time and just draw near to Jesus.

Open the book and read the love story written in red, and see the world through His eyes instead.

Daniel Kiewel is a reporter with the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at