I was making a watermelon-feta- mint salad the other day and it got me thinking about mint. It grows wild in a stream behind our home. I love the fragrance, the freshness, the stepping-into-coolness to gather a bundle; and what is it about something growing wild? I’m going to throw a few watermelon seeds next to the mint to keep it company. With dairy cows nearby for cheese, I’m dreaming of a ready-made salad.
Back to the mint.
It’s just there, year after year, doing the hula to the music of the stream, looking beautiful. It doesn’t grunt or strain to grow, it doesn’t uproot itself in a panic during dry spells; in fact, it has quite an extensive root system, cultivated, I suspect, in the years of drought this valley has endured. The plant drinks what’s given, and the outcome is inevitable: growth, leaves, reproduction, repeat. Its minty-greeness is a vibrant contrast to the dried thistle soon-to-be tumbleweed in this desert valley.
I started thinking about the comparison of two lives described in Jeremiah 17. The first belongs to the person who trusts in human potential; himself and others. He is described as a shrub in the desert, living, but thirsty, always seeking more, and in the end, parched and dried up. The second illustrates the person who relies on the Lord: “…like a tree planted by water, that sends out 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.”
We who live in Christ don’t have to invent growth. “In Him we live and move and have our being,” stated the apostle Paul. It’s a done deal. We simply plant ourselves in the abundant stream of everything He is, and stay put. Droughts and heat will drive our roots down, and there, in deepest darkness, we discover the crystal waters, the subterranean things of Christ, revealed only in those times of secondary growth.
Dwelling in Christ, we dance the hula in the stream of His love, bear fruit, reproduce, offer what we have to others, repeat.
It was mint to be.
They are… planted in the house of the Lord; …even in old age; they bear fruit and are fresh and flourishing. Ps.92:13a,14a
The Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your soul even in drought…and you will be like a watered garden…Isaiah 58:11
He who delights in the Lord and his instructions will be like a tree planted by the river that brings forth fruit in season; his leaf will not wither; and whatever he does prospers. Ps. 1:3
If anyone does not remain in Me…he will wither. John 15:6