J.C. Penney, who came from a long line of Baptist preachers, was well on his way to establishing a successful career when the 1928 Great Depression threw our country into crisis. His business deals turned sour, and like many during that time, Penney became overwhelmed with anxiety and insomnia. He developed a painful case of shingles and was hospitalized. His emotional state deteriorated until, “I was broken nervously and physically, filled with despair, unable to see even a ray of hope. I had nothing to live for. I felt I hadn’t a friend left in the world, that even my family turned against me.”
But one morning he heard singing coming from the little hospital chapel. The words of the song said, “Be not dismayed what’re betide – God will take care of you.”
Entering the chapel, he listened to the song, to the Scripture reading, and to the prayer. “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.” All worry left him as he realized how much Jesus loved him. From that day J.C. Penney was never plagued with worry, and he later recalled those moments in the chapel as the most dramatic and glorious twenty minutes of his life. He went on to become one of our country’s greatest retailers.
God’s eyes are on the sparrow – and He is watching each of us. God will take care of you.