The story of J.C. Penney is inspiring. He lost most of his fortune in the Great Depression. As a result, he had a nervous breakdown. In the hospital, the 58-year-old businessman faced his greatest fears. He later described the turning point in his life:
“One night I became possessed of the strange idea that the end of life had come for me, and that before morning I would be gone. I took a sedative, and went to sleep. After an hour I awoke, still with the conviction that this was the last night for me. I got up, wrote farewell letters to my family, returned to bed, and again fell asleep.
“To my surprise I was still alive the following morning. Feeling restless and apprehensive, I dressed and went downstairs to the dining room, intending to have breakfast. The place had not yet opened. I wandered disconsolately down the corridor. Presently the sound of singing led me to the chapel, where a small group of people was engaged in an early morning prayer meeting. They were singing the old familiar hymn, ‘Be not dismayed whatever betide, God will take care of you.’
“Slipping inside, I sat down in one of the back seats. Someone read a passage of Scripture, which was followed by a prayer. Silently, yet in agony of spirit, I cried: ‘Lord, I can do nothing! Will you take care of me?’
“Something I can only explain as a miracle happened to me in that quiet chapel. An appalling weight was lifted from my spirit, and I passed from darkness to light. I had entered the room paralyzed in spirit, and helplessly adrift. I left it with an exhilarating sense of relief from the thought of impending death and a reborn hope in life.”
A spiritual miracle happened to J.C. Penney. It can also happen to you and to me!