A veteran missionary was returning home to the U.S. after several terms on the field. Aboard a ship bound for New York harbor, a secularist challenged him by pointing out the futility of giving one's life in missionary service. He continued by noting that no one on board ship was paying any attention to the veteran missionary, a sign they apparently considered his efforts quite wasted.
The servant of God responded, “I'm not home yet.”
The agnostic assumed the missionary was referring to a large crowd that would meet the ship, and he scoffed again when they disembarked–not a solitary person welcomed the missionary. Once again, the missionary said, “I'm not home yet.”
A lonely train ride lay ahead as he made his trek from New York City to his small Midwestern hometown. Reaching his destination, the missionary could no longer fight back the tears as the train pulled off. Again, he stood alone. It was then that the inner voice of God's Spirit brought comfort by reminding the faithful servant, “You're not home yet.”
–James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 172.