The Book of Ecclesiastes is a very unusual book. It both has some of the most inspiring and encouraging statements found anywhere and some of the most discouraging statements that leave one wondering how this book got into the Bible. It is the story of a man’s search for meaning and purpose in life and how he went through all kinds of stress and heartache in his search. Our hearts are lifted when we read statements life this one from chapter three, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.” In chapter four he discussed the frustration of being alone. “There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. For whom am I toiling,’he asked, and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless – a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Recently, a good friend of mine went to a local business to get some help at his house. When he arrived he didn’t see anyone and started down a flight of stairs to look for someone. Suddenly, a huge dog came rushing out from the bottom of the stairs, growling and looking like it was about to attack. My friend began to back up when the dog lunged up the stairs at him to attack him. He ran trying to get to his truck to get away from the dog, but either tripped or the dog got his foot and he fell on the pavement. He tried covering his neck and head expecting the dog to attack at any moment. A man drove up about that time and just stayed in his car, looking at him laying on the pavement. The dog didn’t attack anymore so my friend begin trying to get up but he had injured his knees and had knocked his shoulder out of joint. He struggled to get to his feet with the man in his car looking on but doing nothing to help. He finally got up and got to his truck and drove himself to the hospital. He had his shoulder put back into place and has suffered tons of pain from the whole incident. But, I’ve thought many times since, what a difference it would have made if he hadn’t been alone. Someone with him could have helped perhaps to protect him from the dog or to help him up from the fall. A friend could have driven him to the hospital and gotten people there to help quickly. Truly, two are better than one.
Think of God looking at Adam in the Garden of Eden. It was the absolutely beautiful home for Adam. He had everything a person could have wanted. But it wasn’t good for him to be alone. He needed a helper suitable for him, so God took a rib from his side from which he made the woman and brought her to him. Adam’s response was to be thrilled to have this one to be by his side. He said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She will be called woman and for this reason will a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh.”
Think of Jesus sending out the apostles on the limited commission and then a little later sending out 72 disciples to go to different villages telling them about the coming kingdom. Notice the Lord sent them out two by two, not with anyone by themselves. Later when the Holy Spirit sent out Barnabas and Saul to go on the first missionary journey. God didn’t send Saul or Paul out by himself. Even when the partnership with Barnabas broke down he immediately chose Silas to go with him. We need someone to be with us and help us in our efforts in life.
I think of how easy it is to get discouraged and feel abandoned in our lives. In such times of discouragement, when we feel totally alone in the world, it is so easy to get down on life and become vulnerable to all kinds of temptations that the devil throws our way. Friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ are all vitally important as we face life’s challenges. In times like this when we are dealing a pandemic and feel boxed in, we all need that friend who is checking on us and whom we know cares about us. In such times it is worth a million dollars to think of those who are alone and facing life’s challenges alone and to reach out to them with love and encouragement. You may save their life and possibly their souls in the process. It is amazing that in reaching out to encourage another person in their struggles, we are built up ourselves. Let’s make sure no one we know is left alone with no one to show their care.