Isaiah tells us that when we "wait on the Lord" that we "renew our strength." I think that waiting on the Lord takes place when we rest in His presence, trusting Him to move us when we need to move, to lead us where we need to go, and to energize us in our weakness.
Friendship, real, true friendship is a source of energy renewal for the Believer. We are called to "bear one another's burdens." So, when we actually do that, we find that our load isn't as heavy as it normally would be when we try to go at things alone. So, we can walk with our heads up and our steps a little more sure because we are being supported by one another.
We are after all the body of Christ. Why would I try to amputate myself from the rest of the body? What good is an amputated appendage? It is powerless.
The greatest struggle I have with this is that I'm in ministry. (I'm a "professional Christian") There's a certain image of those of us in ministry that we're supposed to have it all together, that we have all the answers, and that when problems or pain comes our way that we automatically know how to deal with it. Even we ministers buy into that deceptive image at times. So it becomes hard for us to let others bear our burdens, because we are supposed to be the counselors...not the counseled. We are supposed to console...not be consoled. We are supposed to be encouragers...not need encouragement.
The truth that I've had to learn about myself is this though, I'm a human being. I get tired. I get discouraged. I get weak. Even in waiting on the Lord, I find myself antsy and impatient, needing the encouragement to just be still and know that He is God. I need people. I need friends and family. And that's ok. In fact, it's a great thing. It's great to know that I am incapable of simply wandering the Earth alone.
As I look around at friends who have been there for me, as I see family that has reached out in love to lift me up, and as I find myself strengthened enough to help bear the burdens of and rejoice with my friends, I have to smile, because I'm not walking this journey alone. I have brothers and sisters in a bond stronger than any earthly familial bonds. I am truly a part of the family of God, and we walk together, holding one another up, enjoying one another's company, praying together, laughing together, crying together, and eating together (can I get an amen on that one?).
Solitude is necessary, I think, for the Believer sometimes. Just as necessary, and maybe even more so, are the friends that god has placed in our lives to journey with. As I learn to spend my time alone in a healthy way I have to smile because I know that I have friends and family who I genuinely love and who genuinely love me and I don't have to walk this journey alone.