Command your feet to move

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

I am looking forward to 2019.

This statement suggests that I have some hope for the future. It also says that I am already there or at least I wish to be. However, we still have 25 days left in this year. While I may be highly anticipating next year, today determines whether I get to do what I am hoping for in the year to come. It is going to take more than looking forward.


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In the scriptures, John 5 describes a crippled man who sat in Jerusalem at the pool of Bethesda. The place was known for healing during a season when an angel “moved on the water.” The man sat there for 38 years hopeful for his healing. When Jesus saw him and learned how long he had been there, he asked him a question. The Kings James Version says Jesus asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole.” Several different translations ask the question different ways. No matter how you translate it, I think Jesus was simply asking the man, “Will you move?” After the crippled man explained why he remained feeble for so many years, Jesus simply commanded him to “rise up and walk.” Several times in scripture, Jesus heals people whose infirmity prevents them from walking upright.

We think very little about the human ability to walk upright. Although crawling worked for a time, the season was not supposed to last. Walking upright affords us two very important positions. Our vision is not directed toward low things like it is when we are crawling, and our hands are free to carry and to work.

You can look forward all you want to, but you must walk to get there. Walking gets you into the place you desire. Walking takes work. We seem to forget that we had to learn to walk. Walking didn’t come easy for me. They said that I had weak ankles. Mastering my upright, forward momentum was a challenge. My legs would wobble, and I would constantly fall. I did not walk strongly until I was nearly 2 years old. I had to wear those hard-bottomed, white shoes until I was 4 years old. I don’t remember the anguish of that toddler who was not able to get to where I wanted to be. But as I reflect on it now, it sure explains a lot about my personal challenges today.

In the same way that crawling baby had to answer to some personal commands happening on the inside of her in order to strengthen those weak ankles, I am still putting one foot in front of the other. Walking takes will, and that is why Jesus asked the crippled man a question of will. He also gave him a call to action. If you desire to get from one place to the next, you must act on some directives, silent commands and courage. Our will alone cannot bring us to our destiny. When you walk with Him, he causes you to outgrow many pairs of shoes. I am so glad I answered my own “rise up and walk.” I could have been an adult woman wearing white, hard-bottomed shoes. But God keeps giving me challenges to strengthen these ankles to walk strong.

God is about momentum. He desires that we move, but He will not force us to do the work. He is so gracious that He shows us the future and frames it for us. But we must do more than look forward to it. We must will our feet to move, despite the challenges, despite the times we fall, and we have to actively walk out our lives every single day.

Perhaps you are like me and you see the future ahead and you are happy about it, but you don’t know how you are going to get there. Rather than focus on how, concentrate on why. My why is simple. I have been in the current season much too long. My why is that I am ready to move on. It is good to want what is in the next place. My hope can be in 2019, but I may never obtain what is in 2019 for me if my will is the same as it was in 2018.


QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.