Author Lois Evans, wife of Oak Cliff Bible church Senior Pastor Dr. Tony Evans, recently shared insight into her latest book, “Seasons of a Woman’s Life” on Faith Radio. She relayed how God’s children are frequently in one of three seasons – Seed Planting, Growth, or Harvest – and sometimes can be in multiple seasons at once.
Dr. Lois Evans has been through many seasons in her life as a pastor’s wife, a mother of four, and a women’s minister. She told a story about a season in her life that was quite overwhelming – Tony was finishing his doctorate, they had just started a church, and she had children to tend to. Lois shared something her husband had said that deeply ministered to her during that season - “Lois, just do what you can in the season that you’re in.” With that sentence, Lois began to understand that in each and every season that we face as believers – and there will likely be many - we need to determine how to prioritize and how to press into the Lord and persevere through it. Though it was difficult, she was relieved to understand that in this particular season of her life, she needed to put the Lord and their family before the needs of the church start-up.
The first season Lois describes in her book is one of “Seed Planting,” or investment. For the non-believer, says Lois, this begins with trusting in Jesus as their personal Savior. A myriad of investments can be made by God’s redeemed, whether in family, in a marriage, in children, or in a job. Hope marks this season, she says – believers are spurred on by the possibilities of what God might do in their lives.
A season of growth often follows investment. During this time, Lois explains, God stretches us and grows us according to His plan. Because we often do not see results at first, this season can sometimes lead to disillusionment if we are not trusting in God’s promises to do all things for His glory and our good (see Romans 8:28). It is sometimes a painful, hard, and uncomfortable season without seeing much or any fruit. Lois encourages believers to make the Lord their refuge (see Psalm 91), especially during this time. Daily Bible study and prayer is an intentional way to seek the Lord and to learn to recognize His voice. We need to rest in Christ, Who leads us by still waters and restores our souls – our leaves will remain lush and green, even through a season of drought (see Psalm 23:1-3 and Psalm 1:1-3) . She cited Jeremiah 17:7-8:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit” (English Standard Version).
Finally, the Lord is gracious to allow us to enter into seasons of harvest – having found contentment in Him, with renewed faith that “God is able.” She referenced God’s promise to the Israelites in Joel 2:24-26, which displays God’s heart to restore things damaged during difficult seasons.
Lois also suggested finding good community and mentors to help us push through a season of growth when fear may be crippling. Most importantly, she recommends studying God’s Word. By doing this, we can “stay in-tune with His voice” and try to discern what next steps He has predestined for our lives, she says. Lois testified that peace and the strength of the Lord reigns in her heart when she believes she is following the path that He has prepared for her.
The benefits of understanding which season God is leading us through are many. We can more patiently endure hardship when we realize that God is placing us in a season of growth, stretching us for our good. Lois recommends reflecting on different seasons as they come to pass, in order to more fully understand the lessons that God has intended for us to learn.