Morning, noon, and night those of like faith met to pray for James White, but he made very slow progress. In explanation Ellen White wrote:
My husband could obtain but little rest or sleep nights. He suffered with the most extreme nervousness. I could not sew or knit in his room, or converse but very little, as he was easily agitated, and his brain confused almost beyond endurance. He required almost constant care, and the Lord gave me strength according to my need. . . .
Many nights when my husband was suffering with pain, unable to rest or sleep, have I left my bed at midnight and bowed before God and earnestly prayed for Him to grant us this token of His love and careóthat my husband might realize the soothing influence of His Holy Spirit, and find rest in sleep. . . . We had the evidence that God heard us pray,and my husband would drop into a quiet sleep (ibid., Feb. 27, 1866).
We did not doubt that God could work a miracle, and in a moment restore to health and vigor. But should He do this, would we not be in danger of again transgressingóabusing our strength by prolonged, intemperate labor, and bringing upon ourselves even a worse condition of things? (ibid., Feb. 20, 1866).
The fact that his illness was the result of overwork, together with the instructions of the Dansville physicians concerning the importance of entire rest, led him, in his feeble state, to shrink from all exertion. Here was one of the most serious obstacles to his recovery (2LS, pp. 353, 354).