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Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.
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Meeting God in Quiet Places

F. LaGard Smith is the author of the book Meeting God in Quiet Places. It’s been a very influential book that I’ve used many times in Sunday school and in writings.

Mr. Smith at times has spent several months each year living in England where he authored this book. He uses his life experiences in England as references in the book. It has thirty-one chapters so I noted what seemed to be the primary message of each one. I plan to select some chapters to write what they mean to me and quote Mr. Smith. If you read the book, you might say my thought is not the main theme of that chapter. That would be okay as long as you get encouragement from his writing.

Chapter 2 he entitles “Balloons”. The theme is “Trust”. You might say the theme is “Faith”. Both are correct because you must have faith to trust. The Cotswold area of England is frequently very busy with hot air balloons. It’s a beautiful site and he even envies those who ride in them because of the beauty. He admits to mixed feelings about riding in one. His comment, “You can never be totally in control”. His thought is that while up there you must trust the pilot and he in turn is dependent on the winds and currents over which he has no control.  

Mr. Smith refers to Thomas, the doubter, because he had to see the nail scars on Jesus’ hands before he would trust that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He writes:

“From my youth I have happily committed my trust to an unseen God. Even now, in most cases, I truly am a willing passenger.  As so far as the flight has been, if not always smooth, at least accompanied by an abiding sense of security. Over the years, I have been through storm and calm, through ups and downs; through the heartache of broken relationships, the passing of loved ones, the tears of defeat, the fear of loneliness and the discouragement of my own fallibility. But somehow I kept flying. Somehow He lifts me higher. In the safety of His gracious providence He carries me over the rough times and shares with me the joys of a live lived by faith.”

Mr. Smith admits that at times he can’t understand God’s way and why it has to be His way but admits his trust works out. “When I let God’s invisible power take control, I am dependent, but oddly free. I am no longer in control, yet I am safe and secure in His leading.”

He closes the chapter: “Nothing can surpass the reality that settles on us when we reach the point that with God where we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is in control. When we really know that we have nothing to fear! When we take that confident step and actually get in the basket! It is then, when we let go of everything that holds us back, that we will know true freedom. And beauty. And breathtaking heights of exhilarating joy!”

When I read encouragement like Mr. Smith’s it sounds so easy to put into practice. It’s not easy for me to let go and allow God to take total control. At times His control does not deliver that for which I prayed. These occasions require extra effort to let go and trust Him especially when the understanding is not present.                           

Meeting God in Quiet Places – F. LaGard Smith – 1992 – Harvest House Publishers – Used by permission

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