This month I encountered two people, both women from two different countries, who both brought up the point of Westerners tending to travel alone and Easterners tending to travel in groups. I always kind of knew this to be true, but after I heard this twice, I really observed it and laughed at how accurate it was. In the last two years, I have flown way more than I would like. To add, most of those flights were connecting flights but either way, I have flown a lot. And in every single flight except two, I have flown alone. In addition, I have traveled in Asia more than other continents and for the most part, I have seen Asians from all different countries traveling together sometimes with two people or even a large group.
Both of these women, surprisingly, had asked me if it ever feels lonely traveling alone. Not that there is anything wrong with either way of traveling; instead, it really made me think about how accustomed I am to traveling alone. I guess it looks kind of lonely for some people to see me walking around international airports alone. Yet, when I was walking in an airport in Japan, it dawned on me that I was perfectly content. I no longer thought about the fact that I’m traveling alone, but rather was finally at the point of acknowledging God’s presence wherever I go. I was reminded of Chapter 121 in the book of Psalms. It is beautifully worded with truth, comfort, and promise of us never being alone.
Verses 1-2 say, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (NIV). In my last home in Korea, from my house to my workplace, I always walked directly towards the mountains. The image I saw is evidence that God is the only Maker of this earth and the only one who provides us with all the help we need. When we are alone, sometimes it’s the perfect time to look up.
The next two verses, 3-4, say, “He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” What a peaceful relief to know that even when we sleep, God watches over us. I’ve never pictured God as a sleeping God, but He does know when to rest (Genesis 2:2 NIV). Yet, even when He rests, He somehow keeps an eye on each of us.
In verses 5-6, it says, “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.” Not only will the Lord catch us when we fall, but the Lord is 24/7, constantly available. When I lived alone for a year, there were countless times I sent messages to my family hoping we could chat. I hated living alone, and all I needed was some social interaction with another human. But because of the time difference and busyness, it was difficult. However, God is always available when we call on His name.
The last two verses say, “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” How long does the Lord watch us? One hour? Six days a week? No. Forever. That means that even in our moments when we are not lonely or oblivious to God’s presence, He is still there!
I don’t think I’ve reached the point of enjoying every single time I am alone. Instead, I think God has opening my eyes to the point where I can see Him and acknowledge His presence in my loneliness. I can also speak as a single person, the difficulties of not having a significant other when I am lonely. But in any situation, it is only God who can fill the emptiness in our lives.
We hope that you know that you are never alone – even if you sometimes you feel that way. Our God is mighty and is always watching over us providing us with protection. We hope you have an excellent Fourth of July celebration and stay safe ❤