\ A Devotional by Katherine Obenschain - La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership


Mark 4: 18-20 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like the seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.  


As many of you are aware, my husband Rich passed away suddenly on May 22, 2019. Recently, I have been hearing from various individuals who knew Rich, that the commandment to Hold Fast to God, applies well to these strange days of self quarantine, increased anxiety and unprecedented daily disruption. Rich loved this commandment, which of course, was first spoken by Joshua as he charged the Children of Israel to Hold fast to God as they were ready to enter the much awaited Promised Land. For the past number of years, Rich encouraged countless La Vida participants, colleagues, family and friends to embrace this powerful charge. He even had La Vida  t-shirts made with Hold Fast boldly written on the back, although I’m not sure that’s what Joshua had in mind! 

This morning I was reading, The Parable of the Sower in The Gospel of Mark. In the end of the parable, Jesus said; “Others, like the seed on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” La Vida was Rich’s crop, and I would say that he was very faithful to his calling. But, we all have our callings, whether it be stepping boldly into the front lines of this pandemic in medical settings, or unexpectedly finding yourself homeschooling children and creating structure and order in their lives, or by embracing this “forced Sabbath” in a way that enables us to spend uninterrupted time in prayer for the needs around us and for revival in the broader world. I am very grateful that Rich’s legacy lives on, but I am also grateful that we belong to a community that lifts each other up in prayer, and encourages each other to keep going when times are hard.


Heavenly Father, in this time of uncertainly, let us Hold Fast to you and to your countless promises. You are surely the author and perfector of our faith.  Help us to anchor ourselves in these wonderful truths in these unsettling days. Help us to embrace the words of this familiar chorus:  “For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast: Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast. Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast. Till our faith is turned to sight, When He comes at last!”

By Katherine Obenschain