I have travelled long distances alone. I am not saying it is a preferred way to travel but not an unpleasant experience as some may think. There is joy and comfort with traveling partners or family but being alone has some pluses also. I love being with people but sometimes I need a little solitude. I can be quite comfortable being alone.
My first experience of a solo expedition was to Haiti. From my front door to my destination in Haiti was about 12 hours with only about four hours of actual airtime, the rest was road travel and airport time. My longest solo experience was to a country in the East which was about 50 hours from door to door with about 20 hours airtime.
During my first journey “to the other side of the globe”, I was alone in the London Heathrow Airport having no sleep for about 32 hours and feeling very drowsy. I could not chance falling asleep during my five hour layover and missing my next flight. There was no one to wake me and no one to secure my bags so I just had to struggle to stay awake. One reason not to travel alone but sometimes it is necessary.
When traveling abroad the United States State Department has four travel advisory categories (Level 1: Exercise Normal Precaution, Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, Level 3: Reconsider Travel, and Level 4: Do Not Travel). I have traveled alone to a country when the country was under Level 4: Do Not Travel. It was a little spooky, but I was thankful I was alone except for my in-country partner. I did not have to worry about bringing someone else into a dangerous situation.
Human beings are not designed to be alone but sometimes it is necessary and even beneficial.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was often alone. No one was with Him in the wilderness of temptation for forty days. He often withdrew away to be alone for prayer. “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there” (Matthew 14:23 NKJV).
I am not suggesting we all be hermits, but time alone can be good for the soul. I am a little afraid of people who are afraid of being alone. When I get alone, I find myself in good company with God, He is there. He has my full attention and there is no one to pull my attention away.
When I am alone, my prayer is intermittent. I talk to God and then I am quiet. Often God speaks to me and often He just lets me know He is there. I just know He is there. Perhaps my aloneness is not as alone as I thought. Whether I am in a forest of trees or a wilderness of people in a busy place of strangers—there I am with God alone. Alone with God. Just Him and me. It is a sacred place.
In this past pandemic year, it has been reported that many people have died alone in hospitals. I would tell their families that they were not alone. God was there. Even some earthly angels dressed in scrubs were nearby as well. They were there in a sacred place with an escort angels at the command of God. The comforting arms of Holy Spirit held them in a heavenly embrace and angels guided them through to the portals of eternity.
My dream is to die a very old man surrounded by my moist-eyed family, as I draw my last breath. Yet, I know there is a possibility that my last breath may be somewhere away and alone. The concern of my family would be more than mine, I am not afraid of being alone in the “valley of the shadow of death”; it is a sacred place. I can go to Heaven from anywhere!
I love traveling with Jesus! The Lord has kept me awake when needed and has helped me sleep. He has acquired a ride for me when it was dark and dangerous. He has calmed my heart. He has strengthened me when I was drained. He has cleared a fiery roadblock. He took me there and back. He is always here and there, and He will take me where I need to be.
I have come to believe if God has something for me to do tomorrow, there are not enough demons of hell to take me out today. I do have an expiration date, but my enemies do not decide it. My next heartbeat is in the hands of God.
Come to think about it—maybe I have never been alone.
“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b NKJV).
And Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— / the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. / I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18 NKJV).
Yours on the Journey always with Jesus,
Harry L. Whitt