Monday, November 18, 2013

You're Not Home Yet

“President Woodrow Wilson is on this ship.”

The newly retired missionary heard the words and settled back into memory lane.

Years of missionary life played through his mind. 

The first years of change, the joy of new converts, the labor of guiding believers through heartaches and misunderstandings and growth and learning the Scriptures. 

Years of leaning on the Lord. Walking through life on the front lines of spiritual battle. Fighting the battles, and learning to trust hard.

Loving people when love had to be tough, and when it rejoiced to be loved in return.

These years were over now, and he was headed into a different life. A life foreign to him now. A life of questions and closures and looking forward to final days, but unsure of what they would hold.

Life is a pilgrimage. He knew all about that.

An abundant pilgrim life is one of sacrifice, loving, laughing, and weeping. Eternity in the heart and pointing others to Christ is the theme of that kind of life.

And that pilgrimage had been worth every step.

Days passed, and the ship finally reached port.

Crowds were gathered. Music played.

The tired missionary heard the clamor and waited for the announcement to disembark.

When he walked off the ship, he stepped onto new ground that used to be familiar, and his footsteps slowed.

His eyes scanned the crowd for a familiar face.

Cameras. Reporters. American flags.

He remembered now.

“President Woodrow Wilson is on this ship.”

While crowds gathered around the president, not one familiar face greeted the retired missionary.

But words came to his heart. Impressed there by a long walk with his Lord by faith.

“You’re not home yet.”

“You’re not home.”


  1. Bethany,

    This is interesting. What missionary is this? Thanks for this reminder though that our work isn't for people here, but for our God.

    Nice to stop by here again,
    Jennifer Dougan

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. I heard this story as a sermon illustration, so I'm not sure who it was. He's probably home now! :-) Thanks again.