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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

An Epic Comeback

Photo Credit:  maneure from
How many of you out there are basketball fans?  Some of you are proudly wearing your team’s shirt, shorts, hat, and shoes at this very moment.  And, some of you might be wondering, “What’s a basketball?”  If you are a fan or you aren’t, I’m sure that you’ve at least heard a little buzz about what many are calling the best comeback in NCAA Tournament history.  

It happened during the Texas A&M and Northern Iowa game on Sunday night.  The Aggies were down 12 points with 44 seconds left in regulation.  Here’s a clip of the epicness (Is that even a word?  It is now!  Woo-hoo!):

I was folding some laundry when I heard shouts and screams and howls of excitement coming from our living room.  When I went to investigate the craziness, I found my son and husband jumping up and down like madmen.  They couldn’t even speak clearly when I asked what was going on.  So, I parked myself on the couch to absorb it all.

March madness indeed.

It ended up being a double overtime victory for the Texas Aggies and it was miraculous.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’m sure that a few of the fans had even left the game early thinking that 44 seconds would never be enough time for a comeback.  Wrong.  Soooo wrong.  Whoa.  I have a whole new respect for 44 seconds on a basketball court.

Being an Aggie myself, I felt so much pride watching the team’s grit and determination.  They never gave up.  They persevered.  They left it all on the court.  The word can’t was absolutely not in their minds that crazy, memorable night.

I’m sure that both teams are still trying to make sense of the 92-88 victory.  How did it happen?  Why did it happen?

When I googled the ferocious comeback, I found a couple of Aggie player quotes shared by George Schroeder:  “I’ve got to go back and watch the film to see how we did it,” Jalen Jones said, “and understand, we’ll all be watching it for a very, very long time, but that doesn’t mean we’ll ever quite fathom it.”  Tonny Trocha-Morelos, whose trap in the corner in the final seconds helped lead to the final turnover and the tying bucket, called it “a God victory,” and suggested that it should prompt the Aggies to believe in a higher plan.

USA Today reported, “The official game book will forever show that leading 69-57 as the clock ticked down, Northern Iowa committed four turnovers.  Texas A&M came up with three steals.  There were layups.  A dunk.  A three-pointer.  A long touchdown pass for a Northern Iowa dunk that seemed to seal it.  But then, from the Aggies, a three-point play.  And in the final seconds, a trap.  A steal.  Another layup.”

USA Today went on to say, “Afterward, the Aggies kept talking about how they ‘kept fighting.’  That’s certainly true, and it’s a lesson for any team, anytime.  For more than 39 minutes, Northern Iowa was the better and more composed team.  Despite an obvious talent edge, Texas A&M missed shots, committed turnovers and generally looked unready for the moment — until, that is, the final moment.”

An epic comeback.

The Aggies somehow erased a 12-point deficit in less than one minute.  One of the reporters said that it was like watching a montage of a full game’s total of steals and layups and then turning the speed up six times.

It was indeed a historic last-minute comeback. 

March Madness. 

Miracles do happen.

The MOST epic comeback in all of history, however, is one that fills my heart with immeasurable joy.  It is the ULTIMATE comeback of all time.  It is that of Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter. 

As we find ourselves in the middle of Holy Week, we are reminded of Jesus’ journey of suffering and rising from the dead for each one of us.  Year after year, I find myself wondering how someone could suffer SO incredibly much for us…purely out of love.

Now, THAT is March Madness, isn’t it?  Jesus never gave up.  He persevered.  He left it all on the…cross.  The word can’t wasn’t in His mind.  We all remember this beautiful, enduring act of love and we will for “a very, very long time, but that doesn’t mean we’ll ever quite fathom it.”

Oftentimes, I just can’t wrap my mind around it all, starting with Palm Sunday…riding into Jerusalem on a donkey…driving money changers out of the temple…cursing a barren fig tree…all of the parables…Judas’ betrayal of Jesus…Jesus’ anointing with expensive perfume…the Last Supper…the scourging…the beating…the walk to Calvary…dying on the cross….the empty tomb…Jesus’ Resurrection….our promise of an eternal home in heaven…

While I can’t fully understand it, please join me in thanking Jesus today for an epic comeback indeed.  Despite our weaknesses, shortcomings, faults, failings, and sins…He loves us unconditionally and died for us.  All of us.  Whoa…now THAT is the epitome of epicness!

Have a wonderful Easter, Sunshines!

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