Nothing will grow, I thought to myself
As I looked over the small plot of land, the garden

I was just the tender of the garden,
not the Master Gardener
I had done all that He had instructed
I had tilled the land and fertilized it
I had planted the seed and watered
I had watched over it to pull up any weeds
I had even prayed for sun and favorable conditions
But weeks later I realized that nothing had sprouted
There had been absolutely no growth

I looked at the Master Gardener,
but did not question Him
for He seemed deep in thought

Will growth ever come?
Were all my efforts in vain?
Did I not work enough, pray enough, water enough?
I do not believe that the Master Gardener
would allow lack on my part
to keep His Garden from growing
But what could it be?

I looked for pests
I checked for temperature and humidity
I waited and prayed some more
Surely, I would be told what to do next
Surely there was a remedy, a solution
In just a moment of time,
the Master Gardener would arise
from His stationary position
and cause the plants to grow,
I hoped

Days passed
Weeks came and left
I watched and waited and prayed
And continued with all
I had been instructed to do

On the third day of the fifth month,
The Master Gardener approached me
His eyes were as steel
His expression was stark
I knew that the news would be bad

"There will be no growth this winter,"
I heard him say
And then He turned and left the Garden

I remained only long enough to gather my tools
and take one last longing glance toward the Garden
For I knew what it could have been
I knew for the Master Gardener had told me His Plans
I could see the Beauty from the words He spoke

But it was not to be
I knew the reason now
The ground was too hard

I walked the simple narrow path
from the Garden to the main house
and it was there that I caught a glimpse
of the Master Gardener preparing to leave

I asked Him where He would go next
And if I could come along
He smiled as He did in days past
when He would speak of the Garden
I gathered my small bag of tools
and headed after Him
He took my hand and I no longer felt
as though the failure of the Garden
was my fault
"There will be better days,"
He said as we walked along

"Why did we toil so long and so hard
when the ground was so hard,"
I finally asked
He looked down at my bare feet
now bronze from the sun
as He slowly spoke,
"The people of the land had asked
for a garden and I told them
that I would do My best"

I understood, but I wondered if
there had been any way
to soften the ground before planting
The Master Gardener must have known
my thoughts for He said,
"There are ways to soften the ground
and prepare it for planting,
but the people would not allow it"

I see
I understood
The ground shook
I heard a great rumbling
"Do not fear," my Companion said,
"I am now breaking up the hard ground
and we will one day return to plant again.
The Garden will then become all
that I have told you in days past.
In just a little while, the work will be done."

Zechariah 2