You’ve heard of the Beverly Hillbillies, but did you know the story of that rags-to-riches family is based on an actual incident?
The place was not Tennessee, but Texas, in Pecos County. The man was not Jed Clampett, but Ira G. Yates, Jr.
Ira Yates was orphaned and forced to fend for himself at the age of twelve. He had tried his hand at ranching and shop keeping and was having a measure of success. Then he traded his store and $16,500 for a large 20,000-acre ranch. Friends had warned Ira about the land. One friend, Nub Pulliam, told him: “Buffalo know better than to cross that land and the crows won’t even fly over it.” But Ira Yates was eager to have a ranch of his own and he made the deal.
Experience his power and joy by putting your whole-hearted trust in him.
Then it happened. Against the conventional wisdom of the day, representatives from the Transcontinental and Ohio (later Marathon) Oil Companies agreed to drill four exploratory wells on the Yates’ property. Most geologists were convinced there was no oil west of the Pecos. But in 1920, when the drillers reached 1,115 feet, they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well produced 80,000 barrels a day! Ira Yates, the man who lived in poverty in an arid land, became an instant millionaire. Thirty years later one of his oil wells was still yielding 125,000 barrels a day.
This vast sea of wealth, known as the Yates Pool, had always belonged to Yates. He was a multimillionaire who had spent years in heart-wrenching poverty just because he didn’t realize what he already possessed.
Many a child of God lives in the emotional and spiritual poverty of depression and gloom. All around is the inexhaustible God who can help us with every problem, bind up our broken hearts and fill them with hope and joy. Why then should we go on living like paupers? Experience his power and joy by putting your whole-hearted trust in him.
In the Scripture our Lord said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Dear Lord, fill my poor heart with Your presence, Your power and Your joy. Forgive my failures and heal my broken heart. Help me to live a life pleasing to You. Amen.