“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
There’s an African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” The above text is the Bible’s way of stating this same truth. You may go fast for awhile, but if you’re unwilling to do the work of friendship, eventually you will fall and won’t be able to get back up because God created us to need Him, and to need each other.
A few years ago a friend was telling me about his cousin who along with his wife adopted three children from Russia. They couldn’t have any children of their own so decided to bring these children into their home. Well, it turned out to be much harder than either of them thought it would be and it led them to the point of despair many times.
The husband told my friend something like this, “We both said ‘I’m done,’ many times through the years, but as God arranged it, we were never saying it at the same time. When one of us was ready to give up, it just happened that the other one somehow had found encouragement, so we kept going.” He said, “I don’t know what would have happened if we had both been in the place of despair at the same time.”
It’s funny that the way we get really close to people is by walking with them through their low times and by letting them walk with us through our low times. “A friend,” the Proverb says, “loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17) We can’t even know how good of a friend we are, or how good of friends we have until we’ve seen them, or they’ve seen us, at our worst. “All times,” means good and bad.
Have you been hurt or betrayed by a friend or by a church? Are you living in isolation because you don’t feel like the work of living in community is worth it? I want to encourage you to reconsider because God wants us to walk with Him and with His other children. It’s His plan and no other will work.