The Great Depression of the 1930s hit a businessman named J.C. Penney particularly hard, endangering his very health.
Anxious and desperate because of his huge financial losses, Penney sank so low he felt he had nothing left to live for. Even his family and friends shunned him.
In the hospital one night, he grew so demoralised that he expected to die before morning!
Then he heard singing coming from the hospital chapel. The words of the song were: ‘Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you. Beneath his wings of love abide, God will take care of you.’ Entering the chapel, he listened to the song, the Scripture reading, and the prayer.
He wrote: ‘Suddenly – something happened. I can’t explain it. I can only call it a miracle. I felt as if I’d been instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon into warm, brilliant sunlight.’
From that day on, J.C. Penney was never again plagued with worry. He described those moments in the chapel as ‘the most dramatic and glorious twenty minutes of my life’.
And when he died at 95, he left behind 1,660 department stores bearing his name.