Soul Surfer

I hate to admit it but it was my first time to watch the very inspiring 2011 movie, Soul Surfer, based on the life of the much-acclaimed surfer,  Bethany Hamilton,  who lost her arm to a shark at the age of 13. It also starred Carrie Underwood (as Bethany Hamilton’s mentor and youth pastor, Sarah Hill). Thanks to HBO Asia, the movie capped a whole day of being “brave and courageous!” I say this because I taught at the Kids’ Church ( Sunday school in the church) earlier today and our lesson was about Queen Esther’s life and just like her, God has placed us (no matter where and no matter what the circumstances are!) for SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

Going back to Bethany’s story, Here are some of her quotes :

  • My strength came from my relationship with Christ and from the love and encouragement of my family and friends.
  • God did have something bigger planned for me. What we all needed to do was trust… and believe.
  •  I don’t pretend to have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people, but I do know that God knows all those answers, and sometimes He lets you know in this life…
  • I have this thought every second of my life—Why me? Not negatively, like “Why did this terrible thing happen to me?” But more like “Why did God choose me and what does He have in mind for me?”
  • When people ask me what my faith in Christ means to me, I usually answer in just one word—everything! This was true before and after the shark attack.
  • I think that if I can help other people find hope in God, then that is worth losing my arm for.

At the end of the movie, when she was being interviewed after a comeback surf event, she was asked on what she thought about being able to touch so many people in different parts of the world. She said,  ” I could never have embraced this many people with two arms. ”

One arm, two arms , we are still whole in the eyes of God. If we give up to Him the thing that we lack, He will supply according to the richness of His glory,

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

Each of us has different needs. To Bethany, it was her arm  – a body part that’s important to a surfer! To us, it could be a material need , health or relationship restoration, or a spiritual revival. In human perspective, fear overtakes each bold step of achievement. We see defeat through our naked eyes. Why not see things through eyes of faith? Yes, we need our family and friends to encourage and help us along the way, like that of Bethany, but more than that, we need the reassuring word of God – the One who never fails, who tells us from yesterday, today and tomorrow –

“This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Limited – yes, but God is unlimited. Our bravery and courage tanks may be limited, but God holds the unlimited supply. He does not only pour it according to the measure of our faith, but the most wonderful part is, He is with us wherever we go.  And if we picture this with a surfer’s point of view, in the “high tide and low tide” moments of our lives, He is with us.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s go get back on that board and thank God for this new lease in life!

Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton (photo via IMDb)

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