Finding Dessert in the Stress

by Joanna Deffner on March 18, 2020

It wasn’t too long ago, I found myself in the long return line at IKEA. If you’ve been there, I’m sorry—but you know what I’m alluding to. If you haven’t, let’s just say you’re lucky you haven’t had the experience.

It’s a struggle to find any sanity amid the endless chatter of adults, cries of discomfited children, squeaky shopping cart wheels, and the infinite crinkle of polypropylene bags. On top of all of that noise, there’s another audio layer of intercom announcements, droning on in various languages.

Desperately trying to drown out the excessive stimuli, my ears honed in to one advertisement for IKEA’s famed desserts (have you had their cinnamon rolls?). Abruptly aware of the grumble in my stomach, I listened to their rendered catchphrase: stressed is desserts spelled backwards. Turn it around and enjoy your “stressed” with our desserts.

A smile crested my face as the realization set in: stressed is desserts spelled backwards. It was ironic that there was something positive to the negative, but only when you donned a different perspective.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13, ESV).

It’s hard, isn’t it? To always see the positive in the negative? I know because I find it a real struggle. It’s easy to see the obvious challenges, zoom in, and magnify them before our eyes. But we miss out on the positive in the entire experience. In the landscape before our eyes, what are the good things happening? What are the blessings God’s chosen to unfold in the situation? What aren’t we taking time to see and/or appreciate?

Everything we have in life is a blessing, whether we see it or not. It’s all about perception. If we can’t see the blessing, we might have to move to get a better angle to be able to see the circumstance in a new light. I’m not saying it’s easy to find the blessing in the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job. However, it’s not every day I read words backwards. Why? Time, difficulty, and it’s unnatural. If IKEA’s marketing department hadn’t called this to my attention, I don’t know how long it would have been until I realized this truth: stressed is dessert spelled backwards. If we don’t take the time, accept the challenge, and move ourselves to a state of uncomfortableness, we won’t see the dessert in the stress.

As I looked at the chaos before me in IKEA’s return department, I adopted a reframed mind and willing attitude to see the positive in the situation. I was grateful to be able to make a hassle-free return because of their amazing return policy. I’d be able to replace the item with something else that worked better in my home. And, I was blessed to have the financial ability to make the purchase.

There it was—my dessert in my stressed state. And, it only took me a mere few seconds to find the positive in the negative; to turn a painful situation into a pleasurable one; to see the blessing in the bustle.

No sooner did I “turn around” and change my perception, God provided a more obvious dessert in my stressed state. I was presented with a hot, gooey cinnamon roll to enjoy. True rapture.

The next time you have a challenge before you, challenge yourself to see the dessert in the stress. Don a different mindset, see the good the Lord is doing, and praise Him for it. You’ll find your dessert before you know it.