Cliff Hanger

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us.” – R.C. Sproul 

I grew up on PBS. Arthur, Zoom, and Zaboomafoo were my jam. One of my favorite shows, and one of the ones that has stuck with me for years, was Reading Rainbow. Books come alive, magical journeys are undertaken, and reading skills are taught. 

I remember there was a segment that occurred in every episode called The Adventures of Cliff Hanger. At the beginning of each segment, a big cartoon character, sporting Indiana Jones-like clothing, clutches a small branch that protrudes from the face of a large cliff. 

It begins when someone or something comes onto the scene that is able to finally save Cliff from his uncomfortable situation as he clings to the side of the mountain. 

In one episode, a ship floats on the river below him and Cliff calls out, “Save me!”. Unfortunately, the captain of the ship mishears Cliff and offers him a long-distance shave instead, leaving Cliff with a smooth face and continued troubling circumstances. 

Every time it seems like Cliff may finally find an escape, the end of the segment always ends with our hero back on the side of the cliff saying, “Can’t…hold…on…much…longer!” To which the theme song sings, “And that’s why they call him Cliff Hanger!

Words do not do it justice. Just look it up on YouTube. Trust me. 

Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good” (Romans 12:9-10).

The first time I read this verse this week, I thought of Cliff Hanger. What if we hold onto what is good as tightly as Cliff hangs onto that branch? I’m sorry, this is just how my brain works.

Sometimes clinging to what is good isn’t so easy as hanging onto a branch that sticks out of a cliff face. Instead, it is more like a tug-of-war with the Enemy. We hold fast to our side of the rope that stands for good but the devil is on the other side trying to yank us around. 

Paul says that we should hold on tight. Don’t let go. We should hold onto what is good with all of our might. 

In fact, Paul even goes as far as to say that we should hate what is wrong. Not only should we hold tight to that which is good but we should despise that which is wrong. We should loathe it. It should make us crinkle our nose and make us sick to our stomach. 

But, sometimes, when I am clinging to that which is good, I may sound a lot like Cliff Hanger: “Can’t…hold…on…much…longer!” 

The difference is that Cliff had to hang onto that branch with His own strength, but our strength comes from a God who rose from the dead and has defeated the grave.

And that’s why they call me Cliff Hanger. 

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