The Definition of Apotheosis: Changed to Reflect God through Our Pain

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord. . .” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I first read the word “apotheosis” in an advent devotional last year. It means “changed to reflect God” so that we transform our outlook on everyday situations and experiences into opportunities for God to be revealed. I had expectations of living each day with that outlook, but I must admit I have many failures along with successes.

I recently had a colonoscopy and was hoping I would reflect God through it. I managed to tell the nurse I liked her cross necklace and soon after that dissolved into tears over pain and problems with the IV’s. Such was the extent of my reflection of God’s glory for the day–certainly no great victory.

The next day however, I was praising God for bringing me through this procedure and thanking Him for all those people who touched my life that day. As I prayed, more and more people came to mind: those who developed this test; those who built the equipment, shipped it and maintain it; the doctors and nurses who spent countless hours studying to perform this procedure; and those who have researched and developed anesthesia–a tremendous blessing for me. I was amazed at how many people in some way had touched my life that morning.

Years ago I would not have had these thoughts. But God has and is using my pain and illness to broaden my perspective and see His hand in ways I never would have seen otherwise. Did I reflect His glory that day at the hospital? Not the way in which I had hoped.

But He is transforming my thoughts and that is a beginning. I am learning to see His goodness and glory in new ways because of my pain. By His grace, I pray that transformation will reflect His glory outwardly more and more, molding me into a living “apotheosis” for Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I see Your reflection in every aspect of my life, including my pain and suffering, and may I then reflect that glory to others. Amen.

About the Author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at

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2 thoughts on “The Definition of Apotheosis: Changed to Reflect God through Our Pain

  1. Bronlynn,

    Perhaps there were those on your colonoscopy team who were praying to reflect God’s glory “that day” to those who were in pain.

    And you were there and in need of understanding.

    This whole concept of reflecting God to those around us is a two way street. Sometime we are able to see how we can help; other times not. Sometimes we are in need of the light shining on us so in turn you can do just what you did after the fact. Perhaps someone was praying for you and “look what happened”. It is not what you expected but perhaps what God wanted all along.


  2. It’s funny–the pastor used apotheosis in his sermon Sunday, and I came home and looked it up. The definition said to elevate someone or thing to a god. I had not thought to think of it as changing myself to reflect God, but that is a good use of the word. I would like to think that I reflect Jesus by acts of kindness and encouragement. In that way, you do so in your devotions. Thank you.

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