The Great Depression hit Mr. J.C. Penney particularly hard, endangering his very health. Anxious and desperate because of huge financial losses, he felt he had nothing to live for. Even his family and friends shunned him. In the hospital one night, he grew so demoralized he expected to die before morning; but he heard singing coming from the little hospital chapel. The words of the song said, “Be not dismayed whate’er betide; God will take care of you.”

Entering the chapel, Penney listened to the song and to the Scripture reading and prayer. He later wrote, “Suddenly – something happened. I can’t explain it. I can only call it a miracle. I felt as if I had been instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon into warm, brilliant sunlight.” From that day, J.C. Penney was never plagued with worry, and he later called those moments in the chapel “the most dramatic and glorious twenty minutes of my life.” When he died at age 95, he left behind 1,660 department stores in his name.

(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 10/1/03)


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