Overflow Is No Deficiency

“Surely, it is no argument of [neediness] in God that he is inclined to communicate of his infinite fullness. It is no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain, that it is inclined to overflow.” – Jonathan Edwards


John Piper alerted me to this quote yesterday, in reference to why God, if He was perfect, complete, and utterly happy in Himself (the Trinity) decided to create the world and man. Piper highlighted the fact that when things are full, complete, good and joyous, the result is it overflows. It abounds. It’s uncontainable. When one is full, our good and right tendency is to share that fullness with others.

As Ransom and I prepare for our son to arrive, there have been those normal vacillating moments from elation all the way to fear of loss. Elation at the privilege to be designated by God as authorities and caretakers of this precious soul. Elation at the thought of meeting our little boy, knowing him, loving him, forgiving him, confessing to him, teaching him, learning from him, and the list goes on. But there is also this fear of a sense of loss in the sweet marriage relationship Ransom and I share. It won’t be “just us” anymore. My attention will be more divided now. There will be another man in my life (albeit, not prioritized as highly as Ransom) vying for my attention. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want the beloved intimacy Ransom and I share to change in any way. Can you catch the faint whiff of selfishness in there? It’s easy to miss and it’s only one layer in this complex heart, but what a joy it is to confess and repent those faint whiffs when the Spirit is gracious to reveal them!

BUT, God has used this quote to enter into that fear and smash it to pieces. If Ransom and I have experienced something good, joyous, full, and satisfying, shouldn’t it be our tendency, our delight to share it with children? It is good and right that our intimacy should extend to them. We want our fountain to be an overflowing, abundant one…not simply a “working” fountain.

I’m not saying that this fear (or other fears) won’t sound good to my heart anymore. But I have been encouraged that this new chapter of sharing the love Ransom and I have been gifted in our marriage, is good and right. This is the way God does relationship and I want to follow in His footsteps. It is a lovely reminder for my heart to settle into this metaphor and it’s a challenge to share open-heartedly, with welcome and abandon, the love we have with our son. Help me to do so, Lord. Amen!

6 thoughts on “Overflow Is No Deficiency

  1. I have tears in my eyes over this beautiful, honest, articulate piece of writing. I love the idea that out of the overflow of your marriage, you will be inviting a new person into your family. Yes, there is a chapter closing and it is right to mourn it. But I will say from experience that the new chapter opening as a family of three, while challenging on your marriage, holds the potential to greatly enrich it! My love for Mark grew and deepened unlike ever before to see him in his new role as father…to co-parent with him…to learn from him how to better love our girl. We have to fiercely protect our marriage from becoming all about Juniper (oh how many date nights we’ve had where all we want to talk about is that cute thing she did or that photo of her from the other day). And we have to carve out time and space to nurture our relationship more than ever before. But like you said, we are following the model God laid out for us in the creation of the world! We cannot go wrong. He will provide for us and our marriages! Thanks for giving me so much yummy food for thought today. Love to you, Ransom, and your little man!

    1. Now, I’ve got tears in MY EYES! You wrote back as I was still doing some final edits…thanks for reading and writing so quickly! You put me to shame! And I love hearing about the good change that has come with Juniper’s entrance into the world. I can testify that she’s made my life so much better!!! I’m sure Ransom and I will face similar challenges as you and Mark, so it’s nice to have wise mentors like you who have gone before us! Love you!

  2. This delights my mother’s heart to see your powerful post and then the comment by your sister and your response. I have to agree with Lauren that date nights are very important after baby comes and nurturing your relationship to Ransom, but rather than having the same amount of love to divide now among three of you, your love with EXPAND to take in this other life without losing anything from your first love. I found this to be true when you were born; I thought I’d have to split my love for Lauren in half in order to have enough love to give another child, but my love grew exponentially to take you in. Loving Lauren even more and having an expanding heart full of love for you, too. It’s quite amazing how God does it and it’s evidence of His overflowing, abounding, uncontainable love! As you said, fears may creep in from time to time because we are so very human, but the Lord will help you open your hearts to this little boy, your son…your little prince!

  3. As I read the article (blog) Lisbeth wrote and then the comments of Lauren, and the mom of this amazing young woman, I felt like I was eavesdropping on an intimate moment between you three. It was one of the best reading of the year! Thank you for the peek into a blessed and highly favored relationship.

  4. My dearest daughter-in-love, thank you for sharing this. Like your mother, I thought that I could never love another child, since I loved Ransom with all my heart. But love is not quantitative,it is qualitative. We love with the love of Christ who first loved us and poured Himself into us through His Spirit. Yes, time is quantitative and that will change. But love does not change, even when hundreds of miles or many months bring quantitative differences. You will also find that your time with Ransom is enhanced as the three of you interact. Claim God’s promise that “children are a gift of the Lord…blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”Psalm 127 You are blessed.

  5. What wonderful writers and scribes of the soul my three women are!! You’re all correct: God will multiply Lisbeth’s and Ransom’s seeds of love arithmetically, geometrically, and even exponentially.

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