John Risbridger is Minister and Team Leader at Above Bar Church, Southampton. After coming to Christ at a young age he studied Mathematics and Economics in Nottingham. He spent 10 years on the staff of UCCF after 5 years in NHS management. He has been involved in Keswick Ministries for many years and served as Chair until the Summer of 2017. He is Chair of the Evangelical Alliance Council. He is married to Alison and has two young adult daughters.
The desire for a greater knowledge of God captivated those who founded the Keswick Convention.
Longing is part of being human. We have thoughts, we have desires. We are not just thinkers, but lovers. That’s how God made us and he made us for himself. So when our desires lead us astray it doesn’t mean that desire is wrong, rather that we are longing for the wrong things. Ultimately whether we know it or not our longing is for him.
Longing is awoken in us when we experience the brokenness of a fallen world; longing comes when something is missing, when there’s an intangible void to fill, a higher level of beauty to achieve. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
Like a bride’s love for the heavenly bridegroom, only our relationship with Christ will truly satisfy this longing. Like life-giving water to a parched soul. “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (John 7:37). Longing speaks of the oneness We yearn for a completeness in Christ. Longing fits our past and the object of our longing is our future.