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I guess I needed that....

In treating some patients, there are times when we give medications for the very purpose of acting as "antagonists" to some other medication in the body or a type of electrolyte imbalance. The purpose is to "bind" something of harm to your body or move it out of your system, such as too much narcotic, an over-abundance of potassium, or a blood-level of medication that is harmful at a particularly high level. The antagonistic effect of the medication actually ends up saving your life! The thing that the individual would otherwise not need to have administered, such as insulin, will move potassium out of their blood and into their cells where it belongs, helping to lower critically high levels of potassium. The thing we sometimes need is what we otherwise would not even consider as an 'antidote' or 'remedy' to whatever it is we are dealing with!

"Salvation" is only gibberish to the wicked because they've never looked it up in your dictionary. Your mercies, God, run into the billions; following your guidelines, revive me. My antagonists are too many to count, but I don't swerve from the directions you gave. (Psalm 119:155-157)

Sometimes we view people and things in our lives who function as "antagonists" in a very negative sense. I wonder if the "challenging" thing or individual in our lives is actually functioning as an antagonist in order to produce something that will actually "save" our life? As we stop for a moment to consider these "challenging" people or things passing through our lives right now, we may actually find their "influence" to seem a little uncomfortable, but in the end the outcome may be quite positive. The influence they exert on us might actually move us into new areas and help us take steps we otherwise would never have taken.

A person may take too much of a narcotic pain killer, causing us to have suppressed respiratory status and slowed heart rate - placing us dangerously close to death. The effect of the pain medication actually threatens our life. If we receive a medication to bind the effects of these medications in our system, we are causing the "sense" of pain to return, but we are also bringing back equilibrium to our respiratory and cardiac status. Which would you say was the most important? Breathing and heart beating soundly, or pain control? As a nurse, I would say we could deal with the pain in a different way, using less sedating medications, but we have a whole set of new issues when we stop breathing!

Usually we think of an antagonist as someone struggling "against" another - almost competing for something the other has or enjoys. We could say chaos is the antagonist of peace; hatred is the antagonist of love; and so on. Remember, I told you the effect of the antagonist is to "bind" - one in competition with another is really in a place of attempting to "bind" us in order to keep us from being as successful as we could be without that 'interference' from their actions. If we begin to view the antagonist in our lives as possibly driving us back to the things which really matter, we might just view their actions a little differently! When faced with someone acting as an "antagonist" in my life (an opponent), I allow their opposition to bring out the stuff that needs to be "bound up" and removed! In relying upon God to "filter" out the stuff which brings me harm, I am actually coming away from that opposition in a much "healthier" condition spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes even physically!

We may feel like our antagonists "run into the millions" - don't lose hope - God's mercies "run into the BILLIONS"! In fact, we cannot even count his mercies! So, although we may not WANT the antagonist, trust the one who ultimately oversees the use of the antagonist in our lives - GOD! He is skillfully placing exactly what we need to "bind up" or remove what does not belong! Just sayin!

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