Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT)

I just read that a professor of psychology at Loyola University said, "People need someone to whom they can tell the story of their lives."

And all of us have a story, and all of us have a profound longing for friendship — a poignant searching for the kinds of things that only a close and lasting relationship can bring. People desire that kind of connection that makes their lives significant to someone else.

But I've found, sadly, that often people don't know how to make friends because they are afraid to risk themselves to another person. If you fear opening up to someone else, remember that others are just as eager to tell their story as you are. As the old gospel song says, "We share our mutual woes." And that turns sharing into mutual riches through friendship. But that blessing of sharing our struggles doesn't come unless we are willing to risk. God bless your efforts to risk yourself to others, and to Christ.

Oh, and here are the words to the song I mentioned. See if you can find a group of friends among whom these words can become true!

We share our mutual woes;
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often from each other flows
The sympathizing tear.When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
An hope to meet again.(From the 1782 hymn, "Blest be the Tie that Binds" by John Fawcett.)