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I’ve talked so much about Zumba class and how much I love it that my friends and family are probably tired of hearing it.  Let me just say that God brought it to me when I needed an outlet, some fun, some community, and of course some exercise.

Right now one of the songs we dance/exercise to is Christina Aguilera’s song “Fighter.”  We do some kickboxing during the chorus:

It makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Christina Aguilera “Fighter” ©2003

She’s singing about someone who cheated on her and did her wrong, but I when I hear those words I usually think of something I’m struggling with (or friends and family are facing) like temptation, feeling down, disappointment, challenges, etc.  Yesterday I was thinking about cancer.  I’m a breast cancer survivor (almost 7 years now) and found a weird bump in my right breast this week.  It could be a number of things, especially since I have a ruptured implant on that side which is now a deflated little baggy crumpled in there.  (I know, personal info – but necessary at the moment)  You can well imagine my first thought/feeling was fear.  I just keep handing it all over to God and trusting Him.  In fact, when I first prayed about it the verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 came to mind front and center:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
Lean not on your own understanding…

So I am.  Trusting that is.

Sometimes I wonder what others around me think I’m doing in Zumba class because I go at it with quite a bit of gusto.  A little too much caffeine today perhaps?  It’s because with each kick and punch, it’s like I’m fighting – feeling stronger by the minute.  I’m kicking stress out, punching discouragement flat.  God is with me and in me.  He will never leave.  He is stronger, for sure, than anyone or anything.  Nothing can defeat me with Him on my side.  If something takes my earthly life, I’m still ultimately invincible thanks to Jesus’ gift of life and forgiveness.  He makes me stronger.  Each step we take in faith makes us stronger.  Each time we trust in God and listen for what He has to say about a situation, we become wiser.  Even when we face death, we walk into heaven stronger than ever – to live forever.

The apostle Paul reminded us in Romans that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ “ (8:14-16 NIV)  We belong to God and God takes care of His own.

And in II Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (1:7 NLT)  God’s Spirit gives me power – power to live and not just make it by.

We can cower when we face trouble or we can fight.  It’s true that God really fights for us, but we have to choose to stand up with Him or beside Him (sometimes behind him) and face what’s ahead in faith.

So…to the enemy, to disease, to hard times, to this crazy life I say “thanks for making me a fighter.”