Why God Made Toads and Deuteronomy 6
This is a wonderful example of Deuteronomy 6:5-9 from Pastor Ray Ortlund and gospel-centered parenting (or grandparenting): “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This is my grandson. He is lost in thought, contemplating a toad. All else has faded away, for a toad is at hand. And, surely, this is why God made toads. For little boys to meditate upon. At this moment in my grandson’s existence, he has no thought but concentration, no feeling but fascination. This is one of the ways God cares for little boys, drawing them into the experience of curiosity and even wonder. Like training wheels on the bicycle that one day will become the Maserati.
What is a toad? I think of it as a frog – already an absurd creature – but with more camo and warts. And it prefers to walk on land. So that little boys can see one in the back yard. And grow up to be men in Christ with hearts alerted to the out-there-ness reality of things infinitely greater than toads, worthy of endless wonder. So thank you, Father, for the toads of this world. For this toad. For this boy. For this moment. For all that it means for the future, including the future of the whole world.
Is there, built into the total creation, an intrinsic necessity for toads? If they were all to disappear, would the universe be diminished? My hunch is, no. But is there, built into the total creation, an intrinsic necessity for little boys? If they were all to disappear, would the universe be diminished? Yes. Little boys can grow up to be mighty men of Christ, to rule majestically over all things under their King and Brother (Psalm 8).
It all starts so humbly, so delightfully, with a toad in the back yard.