“Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.”
Ever since Adam’s fall in Chapter 3 of Genesis, life has been rough. Plans fail. Thistles spread. Sweat pours off our faces, and sometimes—despite our best efforts—that’s the only watering our fields receive, as this year’s droughtstricken farmers could attest. Turn the pages for photos showing the hard Year of our Lord 2012:
- Repercussions of mankind’s fall were readily apparent in the Middle East, where the Garden of Eden once flourished. More than 35,000 Syrians have died in that country’s civil war. Hopes for Egyptian democracy with liberty vanished as the Muslim Brotherhood took power. Arab Spring gave way to mobocracy in Libya as well, with fatal results for America’s ambassador and others.
- Fire and water were both destroyers in 2012: Colorado blazes went wild, and luxury became tragedy when a cruise ship went aground at an Italian island. Hurricane Isaac and Superstorm Sandy flooded and killed in the South and Northeast.
- North Koreans hoped for food and Americans for jobs, but leaders failed them. Kim Jong Un succeeded his father as North Korea’s dictator and ordered border guards to shoot in the back countrymen desperately trying to escape. In the United States, GOP presidential hopes dissolved as the Obama movement of 2008 turned into the political machine of 2012. Millions remained unemployed, while millions more were underemployed or had given up entirely.
We picture these sober providences at the start of this article. Yet God mercifully showed us more, as the final sections suggest. Athletes such as Gabrielle Douglas showed grace and beauty. In Myanmar (Burma), Aung San Suu Kyi gained election to Parliament after spending 15 years as a political prisoner. God turned the hearts of many fathers to their children and brought millions into His church.
Then, we have a month-by-month chronology of some memorable events, followed by a necrology that shows in alphabetical order names and faces of some notables who died during this year’s first 11 months. (We’ll provide an appendix in our Jan. 26 issue.)
We can end 2012 with the words that end the Bible: “Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
Injured women arrive at a field hospital after an Aug. 15 airstrike hit their homes in the town of Azaz.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters on June 24 celebrate in Cairo’s Tahrir Square the election of their country’s new president, Mohamed Morsi.
An investigator examines residue at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after a Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
A June wildfire destroys Colorado Springs homes.
The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground on Jan. 14.
Robert and Marcia Bryce walk through destruction from Superstorm Sandy in Seaside Heights on Oct. 31.
Melanie Martinez holds the family cat after salvaging items from her flooded Braithwaite home after Hurricane Isaac on Sept. 3.
New dictator Kim Jong Un waves as his military officers applaud on April 14 in a Pyongyang stadium.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann greet supporters during a Nov. 3 Dubuque rally.
President Barack Obama stands on stage with first lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malla after his Chicago victory speech on election night, Nov. 6.
Applicants wait to enter a June 11 job fair in New York City.
U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women's individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 2 in London.
Burmese opposition leader and Congressional Gold Medal recipient Aung San Suu Kyi meets supporters on Nov. 16 at Lady Shri Ram College, her alma mater, in New Dehli.
Five-year-old Larry Greene III welcomes home his paratrooper dad, Sgt. Larry Greene, on Sept. 17.
Lucille Lambruschi hugs pastor Tom Louis after he baptizes her in the Gulf of Mexico on Easter, April 8.