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Beneath Spindletop

Gladys Bingham grew up in Beaumont, Texas, and loved to play outdoors. A committed Christian, Gladys faithfully attended church and especially liked her Sunday School teacher, Pattillo Higgins. Mr. Higgins could make the Bible come alive for his young students with surprising experiments that kept their interest.

Pattillo Higgins had a passion for geology, and would occasionally refer to Scripture as he discussed rocks and soil (Genesis 1:1). The class particularly enjoyed their field trips to a small hill named Spindletop, which was named for a cone-shaped tree that grew at the crest.

The class was captivated by an experiment Mr. Higgins would occasionally perform in the soil on Spindletop. First, he took a stick and poked a hole in the ground, and then as the natural gas spewed up, Mr. Higgins struck a match and lighted the fumes. Everyone thought that the burning plume of fire was amazing. Amazing indeed!

Little did they know that on January 10, 1901, Spindletop Hill would erupt into a gusher producing over 80,000 barrels of oil per day. The whole area was soon covered with oil derricks and shantytowns, and land prices escalated to $1 million per acre. Mr. Higgins founded the nearest town and named it Gladys City, after his devoted Sunday School student.

That Bible study class had no idea what was going on beneath the surface. They were content with just being outdoors, studying the Word, and enjoying the fascinating experiments. But there was so much more to discover.

The history of Spindletop is a testament to the magnitude of God. He has so many secrets yet to be discovered. His wisdom is unfathomable, and His knowledge is beyond our ability to comprehend. As is stated in Psalm 8:9 ESV, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your Name in all the earth!”

The small plumes of gas that were emitted from Spindletop were harbingers of the many amazing secrets God has yet to declare. As it is stated in Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever.”

It is foolish to ignore or to despise God. He is our friend and benefactor. And He wants “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV). Please consider your ways. If you have rejected God, change your mind and heart. Knowing God through Christ is good for your soul.

And don’t forget the wonderful promise of God in 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

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