Pastor's wife: 'The devil always fights a good thing'


Many moons ago, my beloved was sharing a difficult situation with church consultant Dan Garland.  Things had been going splendidly…then they were not.

Dan is a treasure.  He has been a Godsend to us.  Since our friendship began in 1999, he has shared from his heart stories of wonderful experiences from his days as a pastor and also gut-wrenching hard times that I am so thankful God brought him through.  Over the decades, he has shared insight, encouragement, and laughs with us.

For this difficult situation, I was glad my beloved could turn to Dan.  I anxiously awaited his brilliant reply.

“What did Dan say?” I eagerly inquired that evening.

“You knew he was coming.”

“What?” I asked, confused.

My beloved repeated, “Dan said, ‘You knew he was coming.’”

“Who was coming?”

“The enemy,” he said.

Well.  That’s not at all what I was expecting.

But, oh, how right he was. It was a truth I understood and have seen and lived ever since.  I think of it as “the Dan Garland Truth.”  The devil always fights a good thing.

Oh, friend, the enemy truly is coming.  And he doesn’t want to just snatch the presents from under your tree.  He wants to steal the Christmas “presence.”

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy …”  Whether or not He was speaking of the devil, it surely applies.  Way past the Grinch, he wants to steal your joy, kill your Christmas spirit, and destroy your hope.

First Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober; be vigilant.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  He wants to eat you alive. 

For a Biblical example of the Dan Garland Truth, we need look no farther than the Christmas story told in Matthew 2.  Mary and Joseph had already been on a roller coaster ride of shock and wonder.  Add in a birth in the stable.  Too soon after Jesus was born, they found that King Herod had begun a search for the Baby King.  They loaded up in the night and ran for their lives.  The enemy was hoping to use Herod to steal God’s Promise, kill the Messiah, and destroy any hope of salvation.  If it happened to Jesus, we would be foolish to think it couldn’t happen to us.

As you gather to remember the indescribable birth of our Immanuel, don’t be surprised if the enemy storms in on your holiday celebration and tries to grab a seat at your table.  If he can get your focus off the Baby, he will.

It might sound silly to say, “Have your Ephesians 6 armor on at Christmastime.”  But Dan will tell you, “The enemy is coming.”

Let’s be girded, belted, helmeted and shod.  Let’s be ready, sword of the Spirit in hand. 

“But thanks be to God,  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at