Multiple time GMA Dove Award-winning powerhouse Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant has blessed worshippers and provided worship leaders with songs to lead congregations into the Throne Room of Grace with her recordings of songs such as "Held," "Greatness of Our God," "Desert Song," and "Your Great Name," which are all vertical worship songs that really showcase Natalie's excellent vocals.
In connection with her upcoming book, Dare to Be, and our eleventh song discussion over the past 13 years of writing these Behind the Song devotionals, I had the chance to speak with Natalie about her newest offering “Who Else.” The song serves as the latest single from her tenth studio album No Stranger, which also includes the standout songs, “My Weapon,” “Face to Face,” and “Even Louder.” That album ranked in my top 10 albums of 2020.
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
I wrote my song “King of the World” with songwriters Sam and Becca Mizell with them previously. So, writing another song with them was a no-brainer. The two sent this lyric idea to me, “who else can take a tragedy and turn it into victory?” That immediately resonated with me.
I’d just come out of a season where I received my diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Here, I faced the very real possibility that my voice would be taken from me. The reality that I might never sing again.
It’s one thing to say that God works everything together for good when you’re on the other side of a bad situation. It’s another thing to declare that verse, Romans 8:28, and believe it by faith when you see no good in that moment.
My voice came back stronger than before. The outcome was how I hoped, prayed, and believed it would be. But, in the middle of it, when I didn’t know the outcome, getting to that place where I was in faith saying, “My outcome doesn’t determine His goodness” was the challenge. That’s why I connected with Sam and Becca’s lyric. Choosing what I believe instead of feeling what I believe is what this song is about.
“Who Else” captures my journey to hold on to the truth that God can take a tragedy and turn it into my gateway for victory. That cancer diagnosis was exactly what God used to propel me to the place where He wanted me to be. While I was looking for a way out of the fire, God was looking at what He could bring from the fire.
I love the lyrics in the verse, “You are not afraid of the fire/'Cause You can bring these ashes back to life.” I’m totally afraid of the fire. I’m terrified. This song is a reminder of how the One we serve isn’t afraid of the fire and how He takes ashes and brings them back to life. When I’m surrounded by flames, I can have confidence that He’s with me when nothing else makes sense.
What Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Romans 8:28(VOICE): “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
Isaiah 55:8-9(NKJV): "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
Acts 4:12(NKJV): "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
John 18:36(VOICE): "My kingdom is not recognized in this world. If this were My kingdom, My servants would be fighting for My freedom. But My kingdom is not in this physical realm."
John 1:12(NIV): "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."
Hebrews 12:2(NKJV): "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Philippians 2:9-11(VOICE): "So God raised Him up to the highest place and gave Him the name above all. So when His name is called, every knee will bow, in heaven, on earth, and below. And every tongue will confess "Jesus, the Anointed One, is Lord," to the glory of God our Father!"
Philippians 3:20(NLV): "But we are citizens of heaven. Christ, the One Who saves from the punishment of sin, will be coming down from heaven again. We are waiting for Him to return."
What is the takeaway message?
It’s hard for us to have confidence in our faith when we’re living in a dark moment in culture and history. But, God is the one who we must trust in right now. Who else can take a tragedy and turn it into victory? Only God can. When everything else seems crazy and upside down, having a sense of confidence that God is in control is important. Knowing that what never changes isn’t a thing, it’s a person, and that person is Jesus.
No one runs out to embrace failure. But when you fail, instead of letting it define you, consider how it will refine you. God will take your failure—He never fails—and He’ll turn it around for your good.
You don’t have to be disappointed; instead, let God do His work of victory. Take your eyes off your failure and bravely allow God to help you see how your disappointment can become a place where you encounter the one who never fails. Dare to worship—even in the worst of times—knowing there’s no one like God.
I’ve walked through multiple tough seasons: record labels going out of business and depression are two good examples. In my book, Dare to Be, there’s a chapter about daring to fail.
Often, when believers have setbacks, they sit and wait for God to perform a miracle before stepping out in faith. What I’ve always done is continue, move on, and trust that God has already done everything I’ve needed Him to do.
We need to step out in faith and trust His Word. Rather than wait for Him to pull us out of the pit, we need to take His ever-extended hand. We need to move forward. Not get stuck. God’s teaching us tough lessons in our hardships, more so in the storms than when we’re on the other side.
Daily, He carries our burdens. Why are we carrying them around? Take God at His Word.
You are not afraid of the fire
'Cause You can bring these ashes back to life When I am surrounded by flames I have this confidence When nothin' else makes sense
Who else can take a tragedy And turn it into victory Who else, who else, who is like You, God? You take the worst that life can bring And use it all for Your glory Who else, who else, who is like You, God?
You are never shaken by the wind 'Cause You can build the broken up again But when I have lost all my strength to stand Yeah, I have this confidence When nothing else makes sense
Who else can take a tragedy And turn it into victory Who else, who else, who is like You, God? You take the worst that life can bring And use it all for Your glory Who else, who else?
You never fail You never will You're working everything together for my good Oh, You never fail You never will You're bringing turnaround just like You said You would
Who else can take a tragedy
And turn it into victory Who else, who else, who is like You, God? All for Your glory Who else, who else, who is like You, God?
Who else, who else Nobody like You, God Nobody like You Who is like You, God?
The encouraging “Who Else” is one of the most inspirational songs I've ever heard. Being a Christian means that we walk by faith, not by sight. Faith requires us to rely on the unseen. It teaches us to trust God more with our lives.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when looking for security in possessions and "The American Dream” is shaky at best, this song reminds me that I can lay down my worry and plans and put my hope in God.
Considering believers are being surrounded by darkness and uncertainty, it's good to know that we can trust in our “King of the World,” Jesus. As Christians, we know that we can trust God's Word. We’re all a work in progress. Have faith and, as Romans 8:28 puts it, let God work all things together for good.
Spend time with God and let Him redeem and restore you. God wants you to know that He's faithful to complete what's He's started in those who've put their hope and trust in Jesus for their salvation.
God’s bigger than any calamity that we experience in this world. He blesses us during our trials and uses them to remind us to rely on Him. He wants to deeply know each of us and wants us to sit at His feet and rid ourselves of distractions.
If you feel like you’re apart from God, take time to pray the way that King David prayed in the Psalms—without technology or other distractions. Know that when you spend time with Him, you’ll be changed.
The song’s main message conveys you to hold on to Christ, as something better is coming. The grace and promise that God is with us, proclaimed ultimately in the moving lyrics, “You never fail/You never will/You're working everything together for my good/Oh, You never fail/You never will/You're bringing turnaround just like You said You would.”
Live every day for heaven and don’t forget that God’s presence is promised to you (this fact is mentioned throughout the Bible).
“Who Else” represents the victory that we have over our battles and our tragedies before we even know the earthly outcome. So, trust that God goes before you and wins. He will never fail.
There are billions of people who don't know Jesus as a savior. And, one day, He’ll rule the new heaven and the new earth—every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
The world is crying out desperately for a savior, and our job as followers of Jesus is to tell the world that He came, He lived a perfect, sinless life, He died for our sins, and He has risen. That's reason to sing out loudly, “Who else can take a tragedy/And turn it into victory/Who else, who else, who is like You, God?” Amen to that.
NRT lead contributor Kevin Davis is a long-time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector, and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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