Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Satan's Efforts to Hinder

My child grew worse, and three times a day we had seasons of prayer for him. Sometimes he would be blessed, and the progress of disease would be stayed; then our faith would be severely tried as his symptoms became alarming. LS 136.2

I was greatly depressed in spirit. Such queries as this troubled me: Why was God not willing to hear our prayers and raise the child to health? Satan, ever ready with his temptations, suggested that it was because we were not right. I could think of no particular thing wherein I had grieved the Lord, yet a crushing weight seemed to be on my spirits, driving me to despair. I doubted my acceptance with God, and could not pray. I had not courage so much as to lift my eyes to heaven. I suffered intense anguish of mind until my husband besought the Lord in my behalf. He would not yield until my voice was united with his for deliverance. The blessing came, and I began to hope. My trembling faith grasped the promises of God. LS 136.3

Then Satan came in another form. My husband was taken very sick. His symptoms were alarming. He cramped at intervals, and suffered excruciating pain. His feet and limbs were cold. I rubbed them until I had no strength to do so longer. Brother Harris was away some miles at his work. Sisters Harris and Bonfoey and my sister Sarah were the only ones present; and I was just gathering courage to dare believe in the promises of God. If ever I felt my weakness it was then. We knew that something must be done immediately. Every moment my husband's case was growing more critical. It was clearly a case of cholera. He asked us to pray, and we dared not refuse. In great weakness we bowed before the Lord. With a deep sense of my unworthiness, I laid my hands upon his head, and asked the Lord to reveal His power. A change came immediately. The natural color of his face returned, and the light of heaven beamed upon his countenance. We were all filled with gratitude unspeakable. Never had we witnessed a more remarkable answer to prayer. LS 137.1

That day we were to go to Port Byron to read the proof sheets of the paper that was being printed at Auburn. It appeared to us that Satan was trying to hinder the publication of the truth which we were laboring to place before the people. We felt that we must walk out upon faith. My husband said he would go to Port Byron for the proof sheets. We helped him harness the horse, and I accompanied him. The Lord strengthened him on the way. He received his proof, and a note stating that the paper would be off the press the next day, and we must be at Auburn to receive it. LS 137.2

That night we were awakened by the screams of our little Edson, who slept in the room above us. It was about midnight. Our little boy would cling to Sister Bonfoey, then with both hands fight the air, and then in terror he would cry, “No, no!” and cling closer to us. We knew this was Satan's effort to annoy us, and we knelt in prayer. My husband rebuked the evil spirit in the name of the Lord, and Edson quietly fell asleep in Sister Bonfoey's arms, and rested well through the night. LS 138.1

Then my husband was again attacked. He was in much pain. I knelt at the bedside and prayed the Lord to strengthen our faith. I knew God had wrought for him, and rebuked the disease; and we could not ask Him to do what had already been done. But we prayed that the Lord would carry on His work. We repeated these words: “Thou hast heard prayer. Thou hast wrought. We believe without a doubt. Carry on the work Thou hast begun!” Thus for two hours we pleaded before the Lord; and while we were praying, my husband fell asleep, and rested well till daylight. When he arose he was very weak, but we would not look at appearances. LS 138.2