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A new motion picture depicting the life of a teenage surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack has a powerful message about faith in the face of suffering. The film, ‘Soul Surfer” tells the story of champion Surfer Bethany Hamilton. Hamilton lost her arm at age 13. The film follows her struggle and her Christian faith and optimism that helped her get back on the board afterwards. Film critic Roger Ebert said Hamilton’s optimism was “almost eerie” in the film. Though he found it hard to identify with, producers said they had to downplay the optimism the real Hamilton had after the attack.

She told reporters she never came a point of completely giving up and that she was “smiling and happy” during her time in the hospital. She said she choose to believe in God and maintain her faith. Hamilton told a local newspaper, “I guess how it (faith) got me through is just knowing that God loves me and He has a purpose for my life and He wants good to come out of this. For most people they’re like, ‘Well, why would God allow that to happen? It’s such a horrible thing. But if you look at all the good that’s come out of it, just being able to encourage people and I’m still surfing and living my dream and reaching more people than I ever could of with two arms, it’s just a creative and different life than it could have been or chosen myself.”

‘Soul Surfer’ Breaks Out in Top 5 at Box Office, http://www.christianpost.com/news/soul-surfer-breaks-out-in-top-5-at-box-office-49786; April 11, 2011, Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Romans 8:31-32 (CEV) “What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? (32) God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won't he freely give us everything else?”

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