Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?
In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon—the wisest man who ever lived—makes some insightful observations about the value of friendship.
One of the benefits of friendship, according to Solomon, is that friends offer us support when we feel alone. He says in Ecclesiastes 4:11, “Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm. How can one be warm alone?” I don’t think Solomon is talking about physically lying down together here; I think he’s really talking about those cold times we experience in our life.
There are certain cold times, chilling times we all experience when we feel alone. It might be a move to a new city or the beginning of a new job or the death of a loved one. And it is in those cold times of life that a friend can offer us the warmth that we need.
I think of the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. You may remember that Ruth had lost her husband to war, and her mother-in-law, Naomi, was also a widow. Naomi encouraged her daughter-in-law to go back to her home country to find a husband. But Ruth begged Naomi not to leave her. And in one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture, Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you. For where you go I will go. Where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16). The rest of Ruth’s story illustrates how the close friendship between Ruth and Naomi provided the warmth they both needed during a cold season of their lives.
Friends can keep us warm during the cold times of life.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living with Loneliness,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.