We prefer sporadic times alone to gather our thoughts, reflect and unwind. Solitude is a good thing; isolation has a darker side. Two circumstances come to mind. First, a doctor makes a diagnosis of an extremely contagious disease, fears an epidemic, and orders a quarantine of the patient. Second, a prison warden corrects an unruly inmate through drastic measures by solitary confinement.
I link confinement to punishment… A parent confines their child in their room to teach the misbehaving girl or boy a lesson or zoo officials confine dangerous animals to cages. Why would I consciously cut myself off from the interaction and support of others and place myself in isolation? Could it be an attempt to punish myself or am I using invisible barriers as a means of protection from dangers of hurt and disappointment?
John the Baptist met disappointment behind the isolation of prison walls. In his separation from friends, doubts surfaced about Jesus. Was He the Lamb of God he had proclaimed, the long awaited Messiah? He sent word to Jesus for affirmation. “Are You the One who is to come, or should we look for someone else (Luke 7:19b HCS)?” This incident serves as a warning; if John a paragon of belief floundered in his faith during confinement, I may succumb too. Isolation has ramifications.