“And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle…and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night." (Num.9:15-16)
The Children of Israel had light to travel by, day or night. Verse 15 tells us that on the day when the Tabernacle was completed, a cloud appeared, hovering over it, providing those weary travelers to the Promised Land with a celestial GPS service, of sorts. When the cloud moved, they moved; and, as long as the cloud remained, so did they. But at night they would not have been unable to see the cloud, of course; and it was then that there appeared, "as it were," the appearance of fire until the morning. It may or may not have been actual fire, but whatever it was, it provided light when all around them was darkness. As long as they had the Tabernacle—the Presence of God—they had light, day or night.
There is an assurance, I think, in those four words: "So it was alway." As long as the Tabernacle was with them, the cloud and the fire would be also. And you and I, as children of God in the 21st Century, have the same assurance...as long as the Presence of God is real to us. I say this because had they chosen to close their eyes, or refused to look up, the Israelites would not have been able to see the light, even though it was always there. I’m talking about what the old preachers used to call "God-consciousness." Something, or someone, can be close by, without our being conscious of it. For the believer, God is there...period. Not only as the great “I AM,” Ruler of the universe, but within us, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. But if we choose to ignore His Presence, we will be as bereft of light as a blind man in the noonday sun.
God has provided everything we need to get through this life: prayer, provision, protection, a path; but, most of all, His own abiding Presence to light the way forward. With Him, we can always be assured of being able to walk a clear, well-lit pathway...day or night.