I read this quite a while ago and found it very meaningful. I appreciate how Noel Piper shared how the lack of deep friendships affected her and how being forced to make friends benefitted her.
by Noël Piper
Go ahead. Ask me what would make me happiest if I had a totally free day. I’d tell you that during such a dream day I’d be by myself, probably with a book. Right at the front of my personality assessment is a capital I that means “introvert.” It could also stand for “I want to be alone—a lot.”
Over the years, when my husband and I have tried to untangle some of the snarls in my life, sometimes he’s ventured to ask, “Noël, don’t you think it might help to have some women around you to offer other perspectives and to pray for you and maybe give some helpful suggestions?”
I knew he must be right because King Solomon said the same thing, and his wisdom was so phenomenal it left the Queen of Sheba breathless (1 Kings 10:1–13). His writings in the Bible are even called Wisdom Literature. So I thought it probably would be wise for me to pay attention when Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10a that it’s good to have friends because they support each other: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.”
In fact, Solomon goes on to say we’re in trouble if we don’t have friends: “Woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (4:10b). He says friends watch out for each other’s needs: “If two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” (4:11). And friends share their strength against adversity: “Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (4:12).
So my mouth said to my husband, “That’s a wise idea.” But my heart cringed at the thought of letting people close enough to poke around in my weaknesses, my mistakes, my faults, and my inadequacies. I decided that I needed to get my life sorted out, then I could include friends — someday, when I could be a giver instead of a taker. “I ought to be able to manage all this,” I thought.