When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God thought, “If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle. And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had required a solemn oath of the Israelites, saying, “God will surely take notice of you, and then you must carry my bones with you from here.” They set out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. (Exodus 13:17-22, NRSV)
Pillars of cloud and fire led the people.
Can you imagine what a pillar of cloud and fire would look like?
That is really all we can do, because there are no photos from the exodus. No selfies with the pillars in the background.
God was always there because the text tells us the pillar of cloud and fire never left the place in front of the people. God never leaves us or forsakes us.
God will always be with us!