How being sick isn't a burden, but an occasion for others
I recently listened to Vanderbilt's professor of New Testament Theology, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine speak about the historical background of the Epistle of James. Among many things in her lecture, one of the comments she made about James 5:13-18 was how the writer does a remarkable job addressing the issue of how those in the early church perceived themselves as a burden to others, just as others also perceive them as a burden.
It has been the case throughout history and even today in our churches where the sick can be a burden. But as James addresses the church, it's makes since that instead of being burdened with taking care of the sick, it should instead be taken as an occasion for the church to come together in unity. It's an opportunity to fellowship, pray, and work together in encouraging each other in the midst of tough and difficult times, not just for the sick but for everyone else in their daily struggles.
The application of this principle can extend beyond the sick but it catches my attention because this principle was evident in the case in my mother's illness before she passed away several years ago. Although she was often concerned with being a burden and did everything she could to prevent it, she never acknowledged the positive impact it had on the community of believers in her presence. A significant number of people saw the glory of God through her 10 year struggle.
I know there are people who struggle with loved ones who are ill and face many tough roads, but as my mom would always say, "find the good in it," and that is what James did.
Fight the urge of feeling burdened or burdensome. Instead, make it an occasion.