For the Christian Musician, many of the songs written about have their origins in personal struggles the artist is having. For Natalie Grant, "More Than Anything" was written PRIOR to her facing one of the biggest challenges of her life, but it provided the ministry she needed to go through that storm. She wrote about it at length in her Facebook:
Oh Jesus, help us seek Your face before we seek Your hand. Help us love you because of WHO YOU ARE, not because of what you can do for us.
2 years ago, I recorded a song about this very thing, called More Than Anything. The lyrics were inspired by the story of a woman battling a horrific cancer, yet her heart’s cry was “I know you can heal me Lord, but even if you choose not to in this life, help me want the Healer, more than the healing.” I’ll never forget being in the studio, and as I recorded this song, I was thinking of many people who were facing the unthinkable. I prayed it would become a lifeline - JESUS more than anything.
Fast forward a couple of years to this past August. My record Company came to me and said they wanted to make this song my new release to radio. “Awesome”, I thought. And I began to pray again that it would push people towards the only answer: JESUS.
But then September came.
And I was diagnosed with cancer.
I was set to sing this song for a huge radio conference the same week of my diagnosis, and as I was rehearsing, I got to the lyrics of the chorus: help me want the Healer, more than the healing...I couldn’t get the words out. “No!”, I screamed in my mind. “No! No! No!” This song was for someone else’s story. This song was to help someone else. But God knew back in 2015 when I recorded it, that He was going to help me learn to live it 2 years later.
And so, I walked out on that stage and sang this song. And I felt like such a fraud, because honestly, I just wanted the healing. But I so tangibly and sincerely felt Him say: “get your mind off your circumstances, and focus your eyes on ME. Stop thinking of all that you need me to do for you, and start thinking about WHO I AM. Write it down, say it out loud. Do it continually and it will take root.”
And so I did.
You are my Savior.
You are my Father.
You are my Healer.
You are my Protector.
You are my Provider.
You are faithful.
You are kind.
You are good.
You are sovereign.
Your love knows know end...
His truth brings silence to the noise.
Our outcomes do not determine His goodness. As I focused on HIM and Him alone, I began to experience His peace that completely passes understanding. I’m talking about a calm in the depth of my soul that doesn’t even make sense. I actually felt His nearness in a way I had never experienced before. I encountered His presence in a way I never knew possible. This is WHO HE IS - personal, always reaching, always pursuing. In order to go higher, we must go deeper. Sometimes it takes walking through the valley of the shadow of death to get us there.
His favor often comes in the package of suffering and hardship. Because He uses our uncertainties, the unknowns, the devastations to grow us deep, and take us high.
No matter what we are in the middle of, God is already HERE. And no matter what lies ahead, God is already THERE.