“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
— Philippians 4:7
James Cash Penney, better known as J.C. Penney, built that tremendous chain of retail stores. Penney was a Christian, but he, like many Christians, had not yet fully learned the lesson of walking by faith. Though his business survived the economic crash of 1929, he had become involved in some personal commitments that were causing him great trouble and stress. In fact, the stress was so severe that it caused the dormant virus of chicken pox, which he had had as a child, to spring to life again in the form of that very, very painful disease of shingles.
He was so crushed and overwhelmed by the constant pain and agony of this disease that he came to the very end of himself and had to be hospitalized. That night in the hospital he was sure he would not survive, so he wrote farewell letters to his wife and son.
He finally went to sleep. The next morning he awoke to singing. It was coming from the hospital chapel just a few doors from his room. He managed to get up, put on his bathrobe, and shuffle into the chapel where he heard a group singing a hymn. As he listened to the words, he was transformed. This was the turning point for him. He said later, “I am seventy-one years old, and the most dramatic and glorious minutes of my life were those I spent in that chapel that morning listening to the hymn: ‘God Will Take Care of You.’”
Oh Lord, our hearts cry out to You for Your grace and Your protection from ourselves. Indeed, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. Thank You that You alone are able to keep us from falling and to present us before Your glory…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE MAY LIVE OUR LIVES SO
THAT ONE DAY WE WILL HEAR HIM SAY, “WELL DONE.”