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His Love - David Peebles

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered us.” C.S. Lewis

I always thought I understood what love was. I grew up in a loving home with two loving Christian parents. I attended a loving church every time the doors were open. I have always had a core nucleus of loving friends and lived in friendly, loving communities. From an outside perspective my life was overflowing with love.

Despite all this, much of my life I sought love in all the wrong places. In my teen years, I sought to find love in the idols of drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality. My hometown, Gulf Shores, had all these things in unlimited quantities. It was like a never-ending temptation buffet of all things a teen boy could desire. Spring Break lasted two months in Gulf Shores, and Summer brought a revolving door of teens from all over America looking to enjoy themselves. I continued to seek fulfillment in these fleshly desires during my college years. After lots of bad decisions, I returned home broken, lost, and feeling unlovable.

I began a career in coaching. I met my beautiful wife Erin. As much as I would say I loved her, I poured all my love and affection into the pursuit of my career. As a competitor, I loved the challenge of coaching and climbing the career ladder. These pursuits became a huge idol in my life. I sacrificed my wife and eventually even my children on the altar of my profession. I accomplished all my goals. I won championships. I climbed the professional ladder attaining what I thought was my dream job and had all the things the world told me should provide fulfillment.

I will never forget when I truly began to understand what love looks like. I lost that dream job. I was broken and hopeless, having destroyed everything I worked so hard to achieve over the previous decade. I was in a very dark place spiritually.

In that dark place, I met the lover of my soul . . . Jesus. The one who loved me despite my continuous rejection of Him. The one who welcomed me with open arms as I finally decided to truly follow Him.

I knew who Jesus was, I grew up in the church. I said the sinner’s prayer at age six and punched my “get out of hell free card”. But, if you looked at my life, there was no fruit to show that I was truly following. Broken and alone, in a school gym, I finally embraced the love of Jesus. I began to seek out true relationship with the one I had long rejected. I began to read His word, communicate with him in prayer and surround myself with other believers who began to disciple me.

As I grew in relationship with Jesus, I began to see a God whose love never changes, regardless of the baggage that I carry. I learned that God’s love is never based on performance. His love is unchanging regardless of what I have done, am doing, or will do.

His love changed my heart and revolutionized the way I love others. Seeing Jesus choose to love me unconditionally allowed me for the first time to choose to love others regardless of what they could do for me. It manifested itself in obedience, fruitfulness and joy for the first time in my life. It turned my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. I am so thankful the Father showed me the true definition of love! JESUS.

David grew up in Jackson Alabama before moving to Gulf Shores at age 8. He has coached and taught in the Mobile area for the last 15 years. He and his wife Erin have three children Lily (14), Reese (11), Sammy (6).



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