she sang the National Anthem in front of 19,980 fans
before a Portland Trailblazer basketball game on April
25, 2003, thirteen-year-old Natalie Gilbert had the
unthinkable happen – she forgot the words!*
The words were supposed to have been projected
on the screen at the auditorium, but they were not.
In complete embarrassment, she turned to look
at her parents who were behind her, and FROZE in
the music continued, six-foot, six-inch tall Maurice
Cheeks, former NBA star and current Trailblazer coach,
walked from the bench to Gilbert, put his arm around
her, and began to sing with her.
The coach – who is no great singer – sang
along with Gilbert, who was so shaken by her mishap
that she, too, was not singing very well.
The coach motioned with his hands to the crowd,
and the fans in the arena began to join in singing the
Throughout the remainder of the song, the coach
sang off key standing next to Gilbert with his arm
placed tenderly about her shoulders to support her.
When the song was over the shaken-but-relieved
teenager looked up at the coach and with a heart
filled with overwhelming gratitude said, “Thank
our best efforts, like Gilbert, WE stumble and fall...
We “sin and fall short of the glory of God”
(Romans 3:23). The
consequences of sin, however, are much worse than
being embarrassed in front of almost 20,000 people,
“for the wages of sin is DEATH” (Romans
6:23), separation from God for an eternity!
in a manner far greater than the wonderful example of
Jesus did more than come “to our side”; He TOOK
OUR PLACE! He “bore our sins in His own body”
on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), to cover our sins with
His own BLOOD,
that we might be saved from our sins.
we will place our faith
in Him (Acts 16:31), repent
of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess
Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be
immersed in His
name (Acts 2:38), then He covers OUR sins with the
payment of HIS shed blood.
The response of those who trust AND obey Him
will be heartfelt gratitude, demonstrated by a life of
faithfulness before Him (1 John 1:7).
said, “What was one of the most horrible moments of
my life turned into one of the most wonderful.” Even so, Jesus, through His plan of salvation, can cleanse us
from the most horrible condition of man: SIN.
has come to your side, wanting to bear the debt of
your sin. Will
you allow Him to assist you by being YOUR
God bless you.
David A. Sargent,
Church of Christ at Creekwood
1901 Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama 36695
*as reported by Tom Steed
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