Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Good morning Prayer Team!
One of the things we cherish most in our lives is freedom, and along with freedom, we enjoy having a degree of control. No one likes to not feel free, and only in certain circumstances do we feel comfortable giving up our sense of control.
Nothing worthwhile in life can be done without an element of risk. And risk, by nature, makes us uncomfortable and gives us anxiety.
A few years ago, I confided in a friend that I was nervous about giving Holy Communion on Palm Sunday, nervous about holding a large chalice for nearly an hour, that my arms were going to give out or my hand was going to fall asleep. Yes, even priests get nervous about things as holy as giving Communion. I remember my friend said to me on Palm Sunday “Do you think that God wants you to fail today?” So, I pondered on this question and thought “I’m doing a good and Godly thing in offering this Liturgy and giving Communion. What I am doing certainly must please God. And in doing this Godly thing, God is not going to allow me to fail.”
Now, we may fail at ungodly things, for these things do not please God nor are they good for us. If God allows us to succeed at ungodly things, these things will drive us farther from Him. And sometimes, even when we are doing good and Godly things, we don’t have success as WE define it, or success in the way we hoped to have success, because sometimes God’s way is not our way, or our way is not in line with His, and this is where faith and trust come in.
So, if you are facing a Godly task this week, and you are anxious or nervous, know this, that God does not want you to fail. He doesn’t want our families to fail, our marriages, our parenting, our use of His talents in our careers. But sometimes our “insight” puts us in opposition to trusting God. This is why we read in Proverbs that we are to put our trust in the Lord and not rely only on our understanding and insight. Acknowledge God, trust God, and He will set you on a straight path, on His path.
Lord, help me to put my trust in You today. I may not know the path, but I trust that you will help me walk it. I may not know the way, but I trust that You do. Fill my anxiety and doubt with faith and trust. And help me replace my fear with hope in You, knowing that with You I cannot fail. Amen.
Trust in God today!
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