Years ago there was a terrible outbreak of disease in an unknown village in the remotest part of Asia. The inmates of the village were getting sick and as weeks and months passed, the sickness became widespread and many died out of the outbreak. When the bad news reached the main city in that area, experts were dispatched to try to figure out what was causing the problem. After some investigations, they discovered that the water was contaminated. The village got its water supply from a mountain stream that was fed from a spring, so the experts decided to trek upstream and hopefully find the source of the pollution. They traveled for days and finally came to the mouth of the stream, but on the surface, they found nothing wrong. Puzzled, they decided to send some divers down to search as closely to the springs opening as possible, what the divers discovered shocked the experts. A large mother pig and her baby piglets were wedged right at the opening of the spring, evidently they have fallen in, drowned and somehow gotten stuck there. Now all crystal clear, pure mountain spring water was being contaminated as it flowed past the decomposing remains of those dead pigs. In no time after the divers were able to extricate the dead pigs, the water began to flow clean and pure once again.

Similar things take place in our lives. We all had things happen to us in 2018 both good and bad. Our lives have been polluted and contaminated by the wrongs we have done and what others have done to us. May be you are still living in guilt which has kept you sad and bitter, May be somebody hurt you or you hurt somebody, may be somebody cheated on you and treated you badly and instead of trying to let it go, we allowed it to take root and control our lives. We make room for that bitterness and live with it. You now see it as who you are; an angry person. The song in your heart becomes “I will never forgive, I must revenge”. As we are matching to 2019, you need to get rid of all the poison polluting your life. God created you in his image; he made you to be a crystal clear stream. He wants you to be happy, successful and whole. God wants you to enjoy life to the full, not to live with bitterness, and resentment.

This is also the time to ask God for forgiveness in any way you have polluted your life with sinful living. Never match into the New Year with the sins of 2018. If you are a Catholic, make effort and go to confessions. Enter the New Year as a crystal clear stream. It doesn’t matter how polluted the stream may be right now, or how muddy the water may look in your life today. Ask God to forgive all your errors, ask for forgiveness on anyone you have offended, then forgive the people who have offended you, and release all those hurts and pains, they are simply poisons. Don’t enter the New Year polluted. When you release yourself from these poisons, you will begin to experience the joy, peace and freedom God intended you to have.

In Psalm 139:23, David asked “search my heart, oh God and point out anything in me that makes you sad. We need to search our hearts and make sure we have not let any roots of bitterness take hold. Keep your heart pure. Forgive the people that hurt you, forgive the friend that betrayed you etc, get rid of all the poison. You are not even doing this only for their sake but for your sake. If you allow that poison take root, it will contaminate your life. You are also hurting yourself. Forgive and ask for forgiveness so that you can get out of bondage, you are doing this for your own good. Sin kills.

Similarly, whenever you live with grudges, we are simply building walls of separation; we become isolated, alone, warped and imprisoned by our own bitterness, those walls then keep you penned in. Those walls can stop the flow of God’s favour. Sin is a reproach against God; don’t go with any into 2019. Don’t go into the New Year feeling guilty of what you have not done well. This is the time to make amends. The walls of unforgiveness can keep your prayers from being answered (Mathew 6:14-15, Mathew 18:21-25, Mark 11:25). Tear down the walls. Forgive and ask for forgiveness that you will get of prison. Forgive yourself even, let go of anything you didn’t do well and correct them.  Let go of that wrong they have done to you, infact bury all the wrongs of 2018, cancel all the bad behavoiurs, you will be amazed on how free you will be. Do not enter the New Year depressed, let go of the past.

May the year 2019 be a year of favour and divine surprises in your life Amen.